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NYPL  RESEARCH  LIBRARIES 


3  3433  08236547  3 


A 


BURY 


John  Wilson  Murray 


Memoirs    of 

A  Great  Detective 

INCIDENTS  IN  THE  LIFE  OF 
JOHN  WILSON    MURRAY 

EDITED   BY   VICTOR   SPEER 


WITH    PORTRAIT 


«$? 


NEW    YORK 

THE    BAKER    &    TAYLOR  CO. 

33-37  East  Seventeenth  Street,  Union  Sq.,  North 


Copyright,    1904,     1905,    by 
•  *  '"  "*'  '")    )  \  VICTOR  SPEER  and  JOHN  W.  MURRAY 


CONTENTS 


I.  Murray  ...... 

II.  From  Babyhood  to  Battleship    . 

III.  The  First  Case  :  Confederate  Cole's  Coup 

IV.  A  Word  by  the  Way        .... 

V.  Knapp  :  A  Weazened  Wonder 

VI.  The  Feminine  Firm  of  Hall  and  Carroll 

VII.  The  Episode  of  Poke  Soles 

VIII.  How  a  Feud  Almost  Burned  Erie 

IX.  Two  Scars,  by  the  Blade  of  Napper  Nichols 

and  the  bullet  of  Whitey  Stokes  . 

X.  A  King,  a  Lunatic,  and  a  Burglar — Three  in 

One,  and  none  at  all  ... 

XI.  The  Box-Car  Battle  of  Sweetman,  and   the 

Thrashers  with  the  Wheat 

XII.  With  the  Help  of  Jessie  McLean 

XIII.  The  Course  of  a  Career 

XIV.  Sanctimonious  Bond  .... 

XV.  When  Ralph  Findlay  Lurched  and  Fell       . 

XVI.  The  Tinkling  House  of  Wellington  Square 

XVII.  The  Driverless  Team  on  Caledonia  Road    . 

XVIII.  Apropos  of  Hunker  Chisholm    . 

XIX.  The  Whitesides  of  Ballinafad    . 

XX.  The  Monaghan  Murder 
The  Six -Foot  Needhams :  Father  and  Son  . 
Pretty  Mary  Ward  of  the  Government  Gardens, 

XXIII.      The  Fatal  Robbery  of  the  Dains 

3 


9 

H 

*9 
29 

35 
42 

47 
5° 

54 

57 

63 
69 

71 
76 
81 
89 

93 
98 
101 
104 
108 
116 
121 


4 


CONTENTS 


XXIV.  "Amer!  Amer  !  Amer  !  "    . 

XXV.  McPherson's  Telltale  Trousers       . 

XXVI.  When  Glengarry  Wrecked  the  Circus 

XXVII.  The  Disappearing  Stores 

XXVIII.  Mary  Ann  Weatherup,  Coquette  . 

XXIX.  The  Capture  of  Lochinvar  Sproule 

XXX.  The  Million  Dollar  Counterfeiting 

XXXI.  Heney,  of  the  Welted  Forehead     . 

XXXII.  The  Tookes's  Revel  in  Riches 

XXXIII.  Big   Mac   of  Simcoe,  Young  Smith,  and 

Bill  Nay 

XXXIV.  John  Dobbin,  from  Beyond  the  Quicksands 

XXXV.  Luke  Phipps,  Who  Buried  Himself  Alive 

XXXVI.  The  New  Year's  Murder  of  Stillwell  of 

Bayham        .... 

XXXVII.  The  Winter  Road  to  Manitoulin    . 

XXXVIII.  The  Long  Point  Mystery      . 

XXXIX.  John  Stone,  Gentleman 
XL.  Bates  of  Allanburg's  Funeral  Pyre  . 
XLI.  A  Spreader  of  Arsenic 
XLII.  For  a  Mess  of  Pottage 
XLIII.  "Shet-Black  Herres    of   the  Ding-Donj 

Mustachees  "... 

XLIV.  Baldy  Drinkwater 

XLV.  Old  John  Klippert  of  Waterloo      . 

XLVI.  The  Returning  of  Darky  George  Claxton 

XL VII.  Two  Disappearances    . 

XL VIII.  The  Hollowed  Chocolate      . 

XLIX.  The  Shanty  City  of  Slabtown 

L.  Why  Tambly  Sleeps  in  Georgian  Bay 

LI.  Reginald  Birchall :   Occupation,  Murderer 


CONTENTS 


5 


LII.  The  Footmark  by  Langford's  Bed  . 

LIII.  The  Lady  of  the  Piercing  Black  Eyes 

LIV.  An  Escaper  of  Genius 

LV.  Pennyfeather  of  the  Bank 

LVI.  The  Tour  of  Charles  Hilton  Davidson 

LVII.  Over  the  Andes  for  Aitken  . 

LVIII.  The  Case  of  Perry  Weinberg 

LIX.  The  Four  Barn  Burnings  of  Chatham 

LX.  Almeda  Chattelle,  the  Hairy  Man 

LXI.  The  Gangs  of  Burtch  and  Rutledge 

LXIJ.  The  Middlemarch  Mystery  . 

LXIJI.  The  Graded  Grays 

LXIV.  George  Alger's  Graveyard  Policy  . 

LXV.  The  Killing  of  James  Agnew 

LXVI.  The  Voice  of  the  Haunted  House 

LXVII.  Olive  Adele  Sevenpiper  Sternaman 

LXVIII.  Simpering  Jim  Allison  . 

LXIX.  The  Turnip  Pit  Tragedy 

LXX.  Foolish  Frank  Osier  and  Wise  Sam  Lindsay 

LXXI.  Eddie  Elliott,  Boy  Murderer 

LXXII.  Demure  Kate  Pender  of  Emsdale  . 

LXXIII.  Why  Humphrey  Went  Back  to  Prison 

LXXI V.  Laing  of  Lawrason's,  Thrifty  Thief 

LXXV.  Lee  Cluey  of  Cathay  . 

LXXVI.  Melvin  Hall,  Freebooter       . 

LXX  VII.  The  Murder  of  Joseph  Sifton 

LXXVIII.  The  Three  Dynamitards 

LXXIX.  The  Temporary  Quirk  Mystery 

LXXX.  Two  Crooks  in  Clover 

LXXXI.  The  Crime  of  Charlie  King . 

LXXXII.  In  Conclusion     .         . 


33o 
335 
341 
348 

352 
362 

379 
381 
385 
39° 
394 
399 
4°  3 
406 
411 
414 
419 
425 
429 
433 
437 
440 
442 

445 
448 
454 
459 

473 
476 

479 
483 


Introductory 


The  editing  of  these  episodes  has  been  a  joyous  task, 
undertaken  for  an  old  friend  whose  eventful  life  is 
worthy  of  an  abler  appreciation.  The  narrative  bears 
witness  to  his  steadfast  determination  that  his  published 
Memoirs  should  be  a  detailed  record  of  truth.  There 
was  no  desire  to  create  a  fanciful  work  of  fiction  out  of 
the  facts  of  an  earnest  and  straightforward  life.  In  the 
writing  of  it,  one  thought  was  uppermost,  a  thought  of 
value,  perhaps,  in  the  reading  of  it,  that  when  it  was 
finished,  the  one  who  lived  it  should  say,  as  he  has  said, 
"  It  is  true,  every  word  of  it." 

V.  S. 


Memoirs  of  a  Great  Detective 


MURRAY 

In  a  tangled  swamp  on  a  farm  near  Gait,  in  the  county 
of  Waterloo,  Province  of  Ontario,  Canada,  in  August, 
1897,  searchers  were  hunting  for  the  body  of  a  farmer's 
wife.  She  had  disappeared,  and  blood  by  the  wood-pile 
and  near  the  house  told  of  a  crime  and  the  hiding  of  the 
body.  One  of  the  party  beating  the  swamp  came  upon 
a  half-dug  grave.  He  kept  silence  as  to  his  discovery, 
and,  when  night  fell,  he  secreted  himself  in  the  thick 
brush  near  the  grave  and  waited,  in  the  faint  hope  that 
the  murderer  would  return  and  finish  his  task,  perchance 
bringing  the  body  with  him. 

It  was  bright  moonlight  overhead.  In  the  thicket  of 
the  swamp  all  was  gloom,  save  for  a  broken  filtering  of 
pale  light  where  the  underbrush  and  tall  briar  had  been 
thinned  out.  It  was  a  lonely,  dismal  place.  An  owl's 
wailing  and  the  swamp-frog's  croaking  were  the  only 
sounds.  The  hours  passed.  Midnight  came  and  went. 
Not  even  a  lizard  appeared  by  the  grave.  The  watcher 
was  about  to  creep  closer  and  ease  his  limbs,  when  a 
rustle  sounded  in  the  brush,  a  noise  like  the  wind  swish- 
ing a  bush.  It  ceased,  then  came  again,  then  all  was 
still.  Suddenly,  on  the  side  of  the  grave  farthest  from  the 
watcher,  a  figure  crept  swiftly  out  of  the  thicket  and  stood 
erect. 

The  moon  shone  full  upon  him.  He  was  tall  and 
broad-shouldered,  with  a  pose  like  that  in  the  old-fash- 
ioned prints  of  heroic  figures  of  the  ancient  wars.  He 
wore  knee-boots,  with  a  long,  loose  coat  reaching  to  their 


io       MEMOIRS  OF  A  GREAT  DETECTIVE 

tops,  and  buttoned  to  the  chin.  A  slouch  hat,  pulled 
well  down  on  the  forehead,  shaded  his  face.  In  his  left 
hand  he  held  a  spade.  He  paused  by  the  grave,  thrust 
his  spade  into  the  earth,  and  left  it  upright  like  a  head- 
stone, then  shoved  back  the  hat,  and  knelt  on  all  fours, 
with  his  face  close  to  the  ground,  for  all  the  world  like  a 
bloodhound  sniffing  for  a  scent.  On  hands  and  knees  he 
crept  around  and  around  the  grave.  Finally,  from  a 
pocket  of  the  long  coat,  he  produced  a  tiny  lamp,  and 
turning  its  light  full  upon  the  ground,  he  resumed  his 
circling  of  the  grave,  his  face  not  five  inches  from  the 
earth,  his  eyes  searching  every  foot  of  ground. 

For  half  an  hour  this  creeping  around  the  grave  con- 
tinued. Then  the  figure  squatted  by  the  mound  of  earth 
and  sat  motionless.  Suddenly  he  arose,  seized  the  spade, 
and  swiftly  tossed  away  the  mound  of  earth  dug  from  the 
grave.  All  was  done  so  noiselessly,  so  deftly,  that  it 
seemed  unreal,  phantom-like,  the  antics  of  a  ghost.  As 
he  neared  the  bottom  of  the  pile  of  earth  his  care  re- 
doubled. At  length,  he  began  to  dig  around  the  remnant 
of  the  pile  as  if  making  a  second  grave,  beside  the  first. 
He  had  left  about  four  inches  of  the  earth  from  the  first 
grave  lying  undisturbed  on  the  site  of  the  second  grave. 
It  was  thick,  sticky  soil,  that  held  together  firmly,  being 
less  watery  than  elsewhere  in  the  swamp,  yet  being  full 
of  heaviness  and  moisture. 

He  dug  cautiously,  sinking  the  spade  about  four  inches 
in  the  soil,  then  driving  it  under,  as  would  a  man  in  cut- 
ting sod.  When  he  thus  had  cut  under  the  entire  rem- 
nant of  earth  from  the  first  grave  he  cleared  a  space  on 
the  ground  beside  it,  and  as  one  would  turn  a  pancake  on 
the  griddle,  he  flipped  the  earth  out  and  turned  it  on  to 
the  cleared  space,  so  that  the  remnant  of  soil  from  the 
first  grave  was  underneath.  He  then  painstakingly  lifted 
away  the  upper  layer,  and  thus  exposed  to  view  the  soil 
from  the  first  grave,  precisely  as  it  had  formed  the  surface 
or  top  of  the  earth  before  the  digging  of  the  grave  began. 
He  knelt  over  this  earth  as  a  mother  over  her  child.  He 
turned  the  light  of  the  little  lamp  full  upon  it.     Then  he 


MURRAY  1 1 

grunted,  a  subdued,  deep,  satisfied  grunt.  With  the  spade 
he  carefully  cut  out  a  piece  of  the  earth  about  a  foot  long 
and  half  as  wide.  He  produced  a  measuring  rule,  and 
for  half  an  hour  worked  over  the  piece  of  earth.  Then 
he  took  the  earth  in  his  arms  as  tenderly  as  if  it  were  a 
babe,  picked  up  the  spade,  and  vanished  in  the  thicket. 

Like  a  flash  it  dawned  on  the  watcher  that  this  mys- 
terious figure  had  been  searching  for  footprints.  He  had 
found  no  clear  footprint  around  the  grave.  The  marks 
there  had  been  trampled  by  those  of  the  watcher.  But 
on  the  surface  of  the  earth,  where  the  grave  had  been 
dug,  the  footprints  of  the  digger  were  certain  to  appear. 
So  the  figure  in  the  long  coat  had  reclaimed  this  surface 
undisturbed,  and,  judging  from  the  one  sound  he  made, 
the  grunt  of  joy,  he  had  found  what  he  sought. 

The  watcher  trailed  after  him,  ignorant  of  who  he  was 
or  whence  he  came.  The  grey  dawn  was  creeping  into 
the  sky  as  he  entered  his  hotel  at  Gait.  A  sleepy  porter 
was  lolling  on  a  table.  Footsteps  sounded  in  the  hall, 
and  past  the  office  door  on  his  way  up-stairs  went  the 
figure  of  the  long  coat.  The  coat  was  in  his  arms, 
borne  carefully,  for  it  concealed  the  precious  piece  of 
earth. 

"  Who  is  that  ?  "  asked  the  watcher. 

*'  That !  "  said  the  porter,  with  a  yawn.  "  That's  Old 
Never-let-go." 

"  Who  ?  "  asked  the  watcher. 

"  Old  Never-let-go,"  answered  the  porter.  "  Murray, 
John  Murray,  Old  Never-let-go,  the  greatest  genuiue  de- 
tective that  this  here  or  any  other  bloomin'  country  can 
produce.  He's  snoopin'  around  now  a  gettin'  ready  to 
fix  a  hangin'  for  whoever  killed  Mrs.  Orr." 

The  figure  of  the  long  coat  was  in  his  room  before  the 
porter  finished.  He  had  laid  the  piece  of  earth  on  a 
table  and  turned  the  light  full  on  it.  A  footprint  showed, 
distinct  in  every  detail  of  the  shoe's  outline.  He  re- 
measured  it  carefully,  noting  the  measurements  on  a  slip 
of  paper.  When  he  finished  he  compared  this  slip  with 
another  slip.     Then  he  went  to  a  closet,  and  drew  forth 


12       MEMOIRS  OF  A  GREAT  DETECTIVE 

an  old  shoe,  earth-stained  and  worn.  He  gently  lowered 
this  shoe  into  the  imprint  on  the  piece  of  earth.  It 
matched.     The  clue  held  true. 

After  locking  the  piece  of  earth  in  an  iron  box,  he 
went  straight  to  the  gaol  or  lockup,  where  a  suspect  was 
under  guard.  He  entered  the  cell,  and  slammed  the 
door.  An  hour  later  he  returned  to  his  room  at  the 
hotel,  glanced  longingly  at  the  bed,  then  at  his  watch, 
shook  his  head,  and  five  minutes  later  was  in  a  cold  bath. 
When  he  appeared  in  the  hotel  office  shortly  after,  the 
newspaper  men  and  others  including  the  watcher  in  the 
swamp,  crowded  around  him. 

"  Any  news  ?  "  they  asked  eagerly. 

"  The  murderer's  locked  up,"  was  the  reply. 

"  Who  is  he  ?  " 

"  Jim  Allison,  the  chore  boy.  He'll  confess  before 
he's  hanged." 

Allison  was  tried  and  convicted,  and  he  confessed  be- 
fore he  was  hanged.  At  the  trial  there  was  no  inkling 
of  the  all-night  labours  in  the  swamp  or  of  the  fatal  foot- 
print. The  case  was  complete,  without  a  revelation  of 
the  methods  of  the  man  who  ran  down  the  necessary  evi- 
dence. If  it  had  been  necessary,  the  piece  of  earth  with 
the  tell-tale  tread,  a  plaster  cast  of  it  to  make  it  still 
plainer,  would  have  been  in  evidence  at  the  trial.  It  was 
not  needed,  and  hence  it  did  not  appear.  In  a  somewhat 
similar  case  a  few  years  before,  proof  of  footprints  was 
needed,  and  it  did  appear. 

"  You're  sure  Allison  did  it  ? "  asked  the  newspaper 
men  at  the  Gait  hotel. 

"  Sure,"  said  Murray,  and  he  went  to  breakfast. 

It  was  the  writer's  first  experience  with  John  Wilson 
Murray,  Chief  Inspector  of  Criminal  Investigation  of  the 
Department  of  Justice  of  the  Province  of  Ontario,  with 
head  offices  in  the  Parliament  Buildings,  Toronto.  For 
almost  thirty  years  he  has  been  inspector,  and,  in  that 
time,  murders  by  the  dozen,  burglaries  by  the  score, 
crimes  of  all  kinds,  totalling  thousands,  have  been  solved 
by  him,  and  the  perpetrators  apprehended.     His  career 


MURRAY  13 

is  a  record  of  events  outrivalling  the  detective  tales  of 
fiction ;  for  fact,  in  its  fullest  scope,  is  stranger  far  than 
fiction.  He  has  followed  men  over  two  continents ;  he 
has  pursued  them  over  land  and  sea,  from  country  to 
country,  from  hemisphere  to  hemisphere,  from  New 
World  to  Old  World  and  back  again.  He  has  travelled 
over  30,000  miles  in  the  chase  of  a  single  man.  He  has 
shot  and  has  been  shot.  He  has  been  worsted  in  des- 
perate struggles  when  help  came  in  the  nick  of  time,  and 
he  has  fought  grim  battles  single-handed  when  defeat 
would  have  meant  death.  His  prisoners  have  ranged 
from  men  of  high  estate  to  creatures  of  the  lowest  depths. 
The  cases  he  has  solved  range  through  every  variety  of 
crime  known  to  the  police  records  of  the  world.  He  has 
run  down  counterfeiters  of  $1,000,000  and  more;  he  has 
unravelled  the  mysteries  of  murder  where  life  was  taken 
for  eighty  cents.  He  has  the  counterfeiting  plates,  val- 
ued at  $40,000,  as  a  trophy  of  the  one  chase,  and  he  has 
a  rusty  iron  pipe  as  a  souvenir  of  the  other. 

He  lives  in  Toronto,  in  a  comfortable  brick  house  in 
Brunswick  Avenue.  As  he  comes  and  goes,  a  stranger 
seeing  him  would  regard  him  as  a  prosperous  business 
man,  of  placid  life  and  uneventful  career.  His  home  life 
is  the  antithesis  of  his  official  life.  He  lives  alone,  with 
a  trusted  housekeeper  and  discreet  servants.  His  pleas- 
ure, apart  from  his  work,  is  in  outdoor  life,  with  his  dogs 
and  gun,  his  fishing  tackle,  or,  above  all,  a  boat  on  the 
open  sea.  Beside  his  desk  in  the  library  of  his  house, 
are  his  favourite  books  on  a  separate  shelf — the  poems 
of  Robert  Burns,  the  works  of  Scott,  the  essays  of  Emer- 
son, the  Count  of  Monte  Cristo,  Gulliver's  Travels,  and 
the  Bible.  He  is  an  omnivorous  reader,  but  these  are  his 
favourites.  On  the  wall,  side  by  side,  are  pictures  of 
Queen  Victoria  and  Abraham  Lincoln.  His  den  is  filled 
with  reminders  of  his  life's  work.  There  are  rusty  bul- 
lets that  have  come  from  the  brains  of  murdered  men ; 
there  are  bludgeons,  knives,  revolvers,  sand-bags,  pieces 
of  pipe,  jemmies,  kits  of  burglars,  outfits  of  counterfeiters, 
symbols   of  the  crucial  clues  that  fastened  on  criminals 


14       MEMUV^  W  A  GREAT  DETECTIVE 

the  guilt  of  their  crimes.     Each  has  its  history,  and  in  the 
story  of  his  life  all  have  their  place. 

In  a  gold  frame  on  the  top  of  his  desk,  in  old  English 
lettering  on  heavy  paper,  is  the  following : 

They  talk  about  a  woman's  sphere 

As  though  it  had  a  limit : 
There's  not  a  place  in  earth  or  heaven, 
There's  not  a  task  to  mankind  given, 
There's  not  a  blessing  or  a  woe, 
There's  not  a  whisper,  yes  or  no, 
There's  not  a  life,  or  death,  or  birth 
That  has  a  featherweight  of  worth, 

Without  a  woman  in  it. 

Murray  smiles  when  a  visitor  reads  it. 


II 

FROM  BABYHOOD  TO  BATTLESHIP 

Even  the  early  years  of  the  life  of  John  Wilson  Mur- 
ray were  eventful.  He  was  born  in  the  city  of  Edin- 
burgh, Scotland,  on  June  25th,  1840.  He  is  sixty-five 
years  old,  and  looks  little  past  fifty.  He  came  of  a  sturdy 
family  of  seafaring  men,  who  had  been  sailing  the  globe 
for  generations  before  him.  His  father  was  Daniel  Dun- 
can Murray,  a  sea  captain,  and  his  grandfather  was  Hec- 
tor Murray,  a  sea  captain  of  some  note,  who  owned  a 
number  of  coasting  vessels  off  the  north  of  Scotland  and 
in  the  German  Ocean,  and  who  was  a  rich  man  until  a 
storm  at  sea  swept  many  of  his  ships  away. 

Murray's  mother  was  Jeanette  Wilson,  daughter  of  Dr. 
Alex.  Wilson,  of  Belfast,  County  Antrim,  in  the  north 
of  Ireland.  Her  father  and  mother  died  when  she  was 
quite  young,  and  the  lass  was  raised  in  Scotland  at  the 
home  of  a  relative  of  Murray's  godmother,  named  Mac- 
Donald,  an  Edinburgh  merchant's  wife.  There  Daniel 
Duncan  Murray  met  her,  a  winsome  maid,  whose  picture 


FROM  BABYHOOD  TO  '    .1  .LESHIP       15 

is  a  gem,  and  married  her  in  1834.  He  sailed  the  seas, 
returning  to  Edinburgh  for  short  visits  after  long  voyages 
to  all  parts  of  the  earth.  There  were  two  children  who 
survived  infancy.  One  was  John  Wilson  Murray,  the 
other  was  his  sister,  Mary,  five  years  older,  who  died 
some  years  ago. 

When  young  Murray  was  five  years  old  the  family 
moved  to  New  York.  Captain  Daniel  Duncan  Murray 
*sailed  ships  out  of  New  York  for  a  number  of  years. 
Among  them  were  the  Benjamin  Adams,  the  Flying  Cloud 
and  the  Ocean  Wave,  in  its  day  a  fast  clipper.  Young 
Murray  was  sent  to  school  in  New  York,  but  in  185 1, 
when  he  was  eleven  years  old,  his  mother's  health  failed, 
and  she  returned  to  Scotland,  taking  him  with  her,  but 
leaving  his  sister,  Mary,  attending  school  in  Hartford, 
Conn.  The  mother,  on  her  arrival  in  Edinburgh,  placed 
her  son  at  the  old  Royal  High  School  on  the  east  end 
of  Princess  or  Regent  Street.  A  few  months  later  she 
heard  that  her  daughter  in  Hartford  had  been  thrown 
from  a  horse,  and  that  her  arm  had  been  broken.  She 
immediately  started  for  New  York,  leaving  young  John 
Wilson  Murray  at  school  in  Edinburgh.  The  son  soon 
showed  the  family  love  for  roving,  a  trait  dominant  in 
his  father  and  his  father's  father.  He  became  dissatisfied  ; 
he  disliked  his  teacher.  The  dissatisfaction  and  dislike 
grew  when  he  heard  his  father  was  due  a  month  later  in 
Liverpool. 

In  1853  this  boy  of  thirteen  ran  away  from  school, 
shipped  on  a  coaster  and  made  his  way  to  Liverpool.  He 
travelled  the  Liverpool  docks  a  night  and  a  day  before 
he  found  his  father's  ship. 

"  I'll  tack  you  back  to  Edinburgh  on  the  morrow," 
said  Captain  Daniel  Duncan  Murray. 

"  Gin  you  do,  I'll  be  off  again  on  the  next  morrow," 
replied  his  thirteen-year-old  son. 

Captain  Murray  laughed  mightily  at  this,  and  when  his 
ship  sailed  for  New  York  he  took  his  son  with  him  and 
turned  him  over  to  his  mother  again.  Mrs.  Murray  took 
him  to  Washington  and  sent  him  to  the  Georgetown 


1 6       MEMOIRS  OF  A  GREAT  DETECTIVE 

Academy.  He  stayed  there  until  1855,  when  the  spirit 
of  adventure  seized  him  and  he  ran  away  a  second  time. 
With  him  went  another  lad  of  the  school,  who  now  is  a 
prominent  man  in  the  business  affairs  of  the  United 
States. 

The  two  boys  went  to  Baltimore.  They  tried  to  ship 
aboard  a  whaler.  At  the  first  shipping  office  they 
entered,  the  man  in  charge  eyed  them  suspiciously  as 
they  glibly  told  of  an  imaginary  career,  since  infancy, 
at  sea. 

"  Hold  out  your  hands,"  he  said  suddenly. 

The  astonished  lads  obeyed. 

"  Bah ! "  he  roared,  as  he  spat  on  the  white  unmarked 
palms.  "  Out  of  here,  or  I'll  have  you  both  arrested.  Go 
back  to  your  mas  and  your  milk,  ye  pair  of  unweaned 
liars.     Ye're  dressed  for  a  party." 

Thereupon  he  spanked  them  both  soundly,  and  sat 
them  down  with  a  thud.  They  fled,  not  alone  from  the 
office,  but  from  Baltimore,  going  to  Philadelphia.  They 
prowled  around  the  water-front  of  the  Quaker  City  look- 
ing for  a  whaler.  After  their  Baltimore  experience  they 
had  decided  to  steer  clear  of  all  shipping  offices.  After 
a  week  of  unavailing  search  for  a  whaler  that  would  carry 
them  to  the  far  north,  where  they  expected  to  bag  whales 
by  the  score  and  seals  by  the  thousand,  young  Murray 
met  a  fruiter.  She  was  a  brig.  They  wanted  a  boy,  but 
did  not  want  two  boys.  Murray's  companion  in  adven- 
ture found  a  berth  on  a  Liverpool  ship,  and  the  lads  sep- 
arated, not  to  meet  again  for  thirty  years. 

The  fruiter  on  which  Murray  shipped  was  the  Sequence. 
She  went  to  the  West  Indies,  Murray  receiving  the  princely 
wage  of  $7  a  month.  The  Sequence  stopped  at  the  Bar- 
badoes,  Trinidad,  and  St.  Kitts,  then  sailed  for  Boston. 
The  boy,  who  had  stepped  aboard  in  velvet  knicker- 
bockers at  Philadelphia,  stepped  ashore  in  duck  togs  at 
Boston.  He  sailed  on  the  Sequence  four  months ;  then 
returned  to  Philadelphia  and  shipped  again,  this  time  on 
the  Dauntless,  a  full-rigged  ship  bound  around  the  Horn. 
He  left  Philadelphia  early  in  October,  1855,  going  out  for 


FROM  BABYHOOD  TO  BATTLESHIP       17 

guano  on  the  islands  off  Lima  on  the  west  coast  of  South 
America.  She  struck  appalling  weather  off  the  Horn, 
and  limped  into  Callao  badly  battered.  In  this  hurricane 
young  Murray  was  seasick  for  the  first  and  last  time  in 
his  life.  On  his  return  from  the  guano  islands,  he  shipped 
on  the  brig  Tortoise,  for  a  short  trip  to  San  Domingo 
after  logwood.  He  was  out  two  months,  and  when  he 
landed  in  Philadelphia  he  heard  of  a  grand  new  vessel  on 
the  great  lakes,  and  straightway  started  for  Buffalo,  and 
shipped  on  the  Great  West,  at  that  time  (1856)  the  biggest 
vessel  on  the  lakes.  Captain  John  Bampton,  a  giant  in 
bulk  and  heart  and  voice,  was  her  master,  and  Toppy 
McGee,  of  Oswego,  was  mate.  She  was  a  full-rigged 
ship,  the  only  one  on  the  lakes  at  that  time. 

Murray  sailed  on  the  Great  West  between  Buffalo  and 
Chicago,  and  had  made  several  trips  when,  one  morn- 
ing at  the  docks  in  Buffalo,  Captain  Daniel  Duncan 
Murray  appeared  and  led  his  runaway  offspring  back  to 
New  York. 

"  This  time  you  go  to  school  and  you  stay  at  school," 
said  the  captain.  "  'Tis  a  profession  I  intend  you  should 
follow.  From  the  cut  of  your  jib  you'll  make  a  fine 
preacher-person ;  or,  at  the  worst,  I'll  turn  you  out  a 
doctor-man." 

"  I  may  go,  but  I  will  not  stay,"  said  young  Murray. 

The  captain  placed  him  in  school.  Young  Murray 
languished  through  the  winter  months,  and  when  spring 
came,  the  spirit  of  unrest  stirred  within  him,  and  away  he 
went,  back  to  the  sea.  In  the  late  spring  he  returned  to 
the  Great  Lakes,  and  on  June  5th,  1857,  he  enlisted  in 
the  United  States  Navy,  joining  the  U.S.S.  Michigan, 
then  in  Chicago,  although  her  headquarters  were  in  Erie, 
Pa.  He  stayed  aboard  the  Michigam  until  the  Civil  War 
broke  out  in  1861.  He  was  twenty-one  years  old  then, 
and  the  opportunity  came  for  him  to  realise  the  ambition 
of  his  early  years.  There  was  a  shortage  of  officers  in 
the  regular  service,  and  Murray  was  picked  as  one  of  the 
likely  young  fellows  to  be  sent  on  to  the  training-school 
at  Washington.     He  worked  and  studied  faithfully  then, 


1 8       MEMOIRS  OF  A  GREAT  DETECTIVE 

and  when  the  examinations  were  held  he  passed,  and 
received  a  commission  in  the  United  States  Navy. 

Murray  served  through  the  Civil  War  in  the  Navy. 
He  was  in  the  Mississippi  or  Gulf  Squadron  a  part  of  the 
time,  under  Commander  Jewett,  and  he  fought  under 
Farragut,  and  was  in  a  number  of  engagements,  including 
the  fight  at  Mobile. 

"  The  first  time  I  saw  Farragut  was  aboard  the  Hart- 
ford, and  I  can  see  him  now,  over  forty  years  after,  as 
distinctly  in  memory  as  I  saw  him  then  in  reality,"  says 
Murray,  in  speaking  of  the  great  naval  genius  of  the  war. 
"  Once  seen,  never  forgotten." 

From  service  in  the  Mississippi  and  the  Gulf,  Murray 
was  ordered  to  the  Great  Lakes  aboard  the  Michigan. 
He  continued  aboard  her  until  after  the  close  of  the 
war,  and  in  December,  1866,  he  left  the  Michigan  and 
the  service. 

Thus,  at  the  age  of  twenty-five,  Murray  had  sailed  the 
south  seas  and  around  the  Horn,  had  stood  the  gruelling 
of  a  six  months'  trip  to  the  guano  fields,  had  been 
through  the  pounding  life  aboard  the  West  Indies  fruiters, 
had  fought  through  the  Civil  War,  and  stood,  a  power- 
ful, self-reliant  young  giant  on  the  lookout  for  his  calling 
in  life. 

One  of  those  who  knew  Murray  in  these  days,  and  who 
is  a  banker  in  Ohio  now,  says  of  him : 

"  He  was  strong  as  a  bull,  quick  as  a  cat,  rather  a  silent 
fellow,  slow  to  anger,  and  plenteous  in  vengeance  once  he 
was  aroused.  He  feared  neither  man,  gun,  nor  belaying 
pin.  He  was  a  faithful  friend  and  a  relentless  foe.  He 
was  the  last  to  pick  a  quarrel,  but  once  it  was  picked  he 
was  the  last  to  drop  it.  His  associates  liked  him.  He 
was  a  silent,  sturdy,  self-contained  man,  with  a  remarkable 
gift  for  gaining  the  confidence  of  other  men." 

The  war  left  its  indelible  imprint  on  the  life  of  Murray, 
as  it  did  on  the  life  of  many  another  man.  It  tended  to 
mould  his  ambitions  and  direct  them  along  the  line  of 
what  later  became  his  occupation.  In  Murray's  mind  it 
is  a  settled  belief  that  if  he  had  not  served  in  the  Navy 


CONFEDERATE  COLE'S  COUP  19 

during  the  Civil  War  he  would  have  been  a  sailor  until 
he  died,  following  in  the  way  of  his  ancestors,  and 
traversing  all  the  seas  to  all  parts  of  the  world  as  master 
of  his  own  ship.  His  career  was  not  cast  ashore  by  any 
dread  of  hardship  afloat,  or  by  any  dislike  of  service  at 
sea.  It  was  influenced  by  an  event  that  is  one  of  the 
important,  yet  little-known,  episodes  of  the  Civil  War. 
It  sufficed  to  decide  finally  the  future  work  of  Murray. 
He  holds  it,  therefore,  a  bit  apart  from  other  excitements 
of  his  career,  for  in  it  the  hand  of  fate  pointed  the  way  of 
his  destiny. 


Ill 

THE  FIRST  CASE  :    CONFEDERATE  COLE'S  COUP 

It  is  a  wonderful  story,  this  narrative  of  the  attempt  of 
the  Confederates,  in  1864,  to  capture  the  U.S.S.  Michigan, 
to  take  Johnson  Island  in  Sandusky  Bay  in  Lake  Erie, 
release  4,000  Confederates  imprisoned  there,  burn  the 
island,  if  possible,  destroy  Detroit,  Cleveland,  and  Buffalo 
by  fire,  and  strike  terror  to  the  heart  of  the  North.  The 
man  who  discovered  the  plot  was  Murray,  and  it  was  he 
who  unearthed  the  identity  of  the  picturesque  leader 
and  was  instrumental  in  frustrating  the  schemes  so  cun- 
ningly devised. 

The  war  was  at  its  zenith,  says  Murray,  in  telling  the 
story.  It  was  the  year  1864.  Commander  J.  C.  Carter 
of  the  United  States  Navy  sent  for  Murray  and  detailed 
him  to  special  duty.  There  had  been  talk  of  a  Con- 
federate plot  to  blow  up  Johnson  Island  and  liberate  all 
Confederate  prisoners  and  land  them  safely  in  Canada 
across  Lake  Erie. 

"  '  Try  to  get  to  the  bottom  of  the  conspiracy,  if  there 
is  one,'  said  Commander  Carter  to  me,  in  the  latter  part 
of  May,  1864,"  says  Murray.  "Carter  added:  'Go  to 
any  place  and  every  place ;  you  have  an  unlimited  com- 
mission.    Report  to  me  from  time  to  time.'  " 


20       MEMOIRS  OF  A  GREAT  DETECTIVE 

Murray  went  first  to  Detroit  and  conferred  with  Colonel 
Hill,  who  gave  him  what  information  he  had.  It  was 
meagre.  At  that  time,  Vallandingham,  a  member  of 
Congress  from  Ohio,  was  in  exile  in  Windsor,  Ontario, 
across  the  river  from  Detroit.  Vallandingham  was  a 
Southern  sympathiser.  Murray — in  the  garb  of  a  civil- 
ian, of  course — crossed  to  Windsor,  and  settled  down  to 
learn,  first  of  all,  the  ways  of  Vallandingham  and  any 
other  Confederate  sympathisers  gathered  there.  He  ob- 
served closely  all  who  called  on  Vallandingham.  Among 
them  he  noted  a  dapper,  energetic,  little  fellow,  who  came 
and  went  at  Vallandingham's  headquarters.  Murray,  un- 
suspected, learned  his  name  was  L.  C.  Cole,  and  that  he 
was  reputed  to  be  a  Confederate  agent.  Cole  was  about 
thirty-eight  years  old,  five  feet  seven  inches  tall,  weighed 
a  hundred  and  thirty-five  pounds,  with  red  hair  and  long 
mustachios,  and  grey  eyes,  so  small  and  sharp  and  bright, 
that  Murray  says  the  first  thing  he  noticed  about  Cole 
was  his  eyes.  Murray  finally  caught  a  scrap  of  conver- 
sation between  Cole  and  Vallandingham  that  convinced 
him  Cole  was  an  important  and  dangerous  figure.  He 
communicated  with  Commander  Carter  and  made  ready 
to  follow  Cole,  if  it  led  to  the  ends  of  the  earth. 

Cole  left  Windsor,  with  Murray  on  his  trail.  He  went 
first  to  Toronto  and  stopped  at  the  Queen's  Hotel,  where 
he  was  joined  by  a  number  of  other  rebel  sympathisers. 
Murray  says  a  dozen  or  more  gathered  instantly  to  greet 
him,  all  being  strangers.  Cole  clearly  was  the  chief 
among  them,  as  they  deferred  to  him.  After  long  con- 
ferences, Cole  went  to  Montreal.  Murray  went  on  the 
same  train. 

Thus  the  chase  began.  Murray  was  a  young  fellow  of 
twenty-four,  inexperienced  as  a  detective,  untrained  in 
shadowing  a  man  or  in  running  down  a  clue  or  solving  a 
mystery.  Cole,  on  the  contrary,  was  an  experienced 
and  trained  agent,  schooled  in  all  the  tricks  of  that  branch 
of  war  in  which  he  was  engaged.  The  difficult  task, 
however,  seemed  simple  to  Murray;  he  adjusted  himself 
to  it  from  the  outset.     It  serves  to  indicate  his  natural 


CONFEDERATE  COLE'S  COUP  21 

bent  towards  the  work  of  a  detective.  A  coincidence  of 
his  career  is  that  his  first  visit  to  Toronto,  where  later-  he 
established  his  headquarters  in  his  life-work,  was  as  a  de- 
tective,  trailing  his  man. 

"  I  learned  then  the  simple  rule  for  following  a  man," 
says  Murray.  "  Keep  him  in  your  sight  as  much  as  pos- 
sible, and  keep  yourself  out  of  his  sight  as  much  as 
possible." 

When  Cole  alighted  from  the  train  in  Montreal,  Mur- 
ray was  a  car  length  behind  him.  Cole  went  to  the  St. 
Lawrence  Hall  Hotel  and  Murray  followed.  There  Cole 
was  joined  by  a  woman. 

*'  She  was  an  elegant-looking  lady,"  says  Murray. 
"  She  was  big  and  stately,  a  magnificent  blonde,  with 
clothes  that  were  a  marvel  to  me.  I  did  not  know  her 
then,  but  later  she  turned  out  to  be  the  celebrated  Irish 
Lize.  The  contrast  between  her  and  Cole  was  striking. 
She  was  big,  stout,  and  fine-looking ;  he  was  a  little, 
sandy,  red-haired  fellow,  but  smart  as  lightning." 

From  Montreal,  Cole  and  Irish  Lize  went  to  Albany. 
The  impulse  was  strong  on  Murray  to  seize  them  and 
notify  Commander  Carter.  He  debated  it  with  himself. 
He  had  evidence  that  they  were  Confederate  sympa- 
thisers, but  he  had  not  the  desired  evidence  as  to  a  plot 
or  their  plans.  He  decided  to  follow  them,  half  expect- 
ing they  would  go  far  South  before  returning  to  execute 
any  desperate  plans  in  the  North.  They  stopped  over 
night  in  Albany,  then  went  to  New  York  and  then  on  to 
Philadelphia  and  thence  to  Washington.  Murray  trailed 
them  from  city  to  city,  from  hotel  to  hotel.  Cole  and 
Irish  Lize  met  one,  or  sometimes  two  or  three  strangers 
in  each  city,  evidently  by  previous  appointment,  as  in 
every  instance  they  were  waiting  Cole's  arrival.  From 
Washington,  Cole  and  Irish  Lize  went  to  Harrisburg, 
Pennsylvania,  and  from  Harrisburg  to  Buffalo,  New  York, 
and  thence  to  Cleveland,  Ohio.  In  Cleveland  they  were 
joined  by  a  young  man,  whom  they  had  seen  in  Phila- 
delphia. He  was  Charles  Robinson,  son  of  a  former 
judge.     They  stayed  in   Cleveland  two  days  and  then 


22       MEMOIRS  OF  A  GREAT  DETECTIVE 

went  to  Sandusky,  Ohio,  where  Cole  and  Irish  Lize 
stopped  at  the  West  House,  and  Robinson  at  a  private 
boarding-house.  They  arrived  at  Sandusky  about  June 
20th,  1864.     Murray  arrived  on  the  same  train. 

"  I  learned  for  myself  on  that  trip,"  says  Murray,  "  the 
various  ways  to  ascertain  a  man's  destination  before  he 
boards  his  train.  Sometimes  he  states  it  at  the  hotel 
when  paying  his  bill,  sometimes  it  can  be  learned  when 
he  buys  his  ticket,  sometimes  the  conductor  is  obliging, 
and  sometimes,  when  the  worst  comes  to  the  worst,  you 
can  sit  in  another  car,  or  at  the  other  end  of  the  same 
car,  and  keep  an  eye  on  the  stations.  All  this  has 
changed  greatly  in  recent  years.  Cooperation  among 
the  police  forces  of  all  cities  and  of  hotel,  railroad,  and 
other  detectives  has  simplified  this  task  of  trailing  a 
traveller.'' 

Cole  posed  at  Sandusky  as  an  oil  prince.  Irish  Lize 
passed  as  his  wife.  Soon  after  their  arrival  an  assistant 
joined  Cole.  He  was  known  as  G.  C.  Beal.  One  week 
to  the  day  after  Cole  arrived  at  the  West  House,  a  young 
man  registered  as  John  U.  Wilson  of  New  Orleans.  In 
the  course  of  a  few  days  he  met  Cole  casually,  as  guests 
staying  for  long  at  the  same  hotel  are  apt  to  meet.  They 
drank  together,  and  seemed  to  become  well  acquainted. 
Cole  bought  fast  horses  and  finally  chartered  a  yacht. 
He  made  the  acquaintance  of  the  officers  of  the  U.S.S. 
Michigan,  then  lying  off  Sandusky,  and  also  of  Colonel 
Hill  (not  the  Colonel  Hill  whom  Murray  had  seen  in  De- 
troit) and  the  U.S.  Army  officers  in  charge  of  Johnson 
Island.  Cole  appeared  a  jolly  good  fellow,  who  spent 
money  like  water,  and  was  too  busy  having  a  merry  time 
to  give  heed  to  the  affairs  of  war.  He  became  a  great 
favourite  with  both  the  Naval  officers  aboard  the  Michi- 
gan and  the  Army  officers  on  the  Island.  He  sent 
baskets  of  wine  and  boxes  of  cigars  aboard  the  vessel 
and  over  to  the  Island. 

Murray,  meanwhile,  had  reported  to  Commander 
Carter.  About  the  middle  of  July,  1864,  Cole  arranged 
a  party  to  the  Seven  Mile  House,  seven  miles  out  of  San- 


CONFEDERATE  COLE'S  COUP  23 

dusky.  He  invited  all  the  officers  of  the  Island  and  the 
ship.  A  number  of  them  were  making  preparations  to 
go.  Young  Wilson,  of  New  Orleans,  was  Cole's  assistant 
in  planning  the  details  of  the  outing.  Early  that  morn- 
ing Cole  received  a  telegram  from  Detroit : 

"  I  send  you  sixteen  shares  per  two  messengers. — D.B." 

On  this  particular  morning,  on  the  steamer  Philo  Par- 
sons, plying  between  Sandusky  and  Detroit  on  daily  trips, 
with  a  stop  at  Windsor,  Ontario,  ten  men  got  aboard  at 
Windsor,  and  eight  more  got  aboard  at  Amherstburg,  in 
Canada,  at  the  mouth  of  the  Detroit  River.  They  had 
their  luggage  with  them.  They  were  the  sixteen  shares 
sent  by  two  messengers  to  the  merry  Mr.  Cole  at 
Sandusky.  After  the  steamer  Parsons  got  well  out  into 
Lake  Erie,  these  eighteen  men  opened  their  luggage 
boxes,  took  therefrom  braces  of  revolvers  and  captured 
the  Parsons,  making  her  captain  a  prisoner.  Then  they 
steamed  on  to  Kelly's  Island,  off  Sandusky,  where  the 
steamer  Island  Queen  was  lying.  They  sent  some  of 
their  men  aboard  the  Queen,  caught  the  few  of  her  crew 
aboard  unawares,  gave  orders  to  Engineer  Richardson, 
and  when  he  refused  to  obey,  shot  him  dead.  They  then 
took  the  Island  Queen  out  into  the  lake  and  ran  her  on 
to  Gull  Island  and  abandoned  her  there.  Then  they 
headed  for  Sandusky  in  the  Parsons,  which  was  due  at 
six  o'clock  in  the  evening. 

While  this  was  occurring  on  Lake  Erie,  Cole  was  in 
Sandusky  with  his  plans  all  made  for  the  party  that  would 
call  practically  all  the  officers  on  the  Michigan  and  on 
Johnson  Island  to  the  Seven  Mile  House,  well  away  from 
their  posts  of  duty.  They  were  to  start  from  Sandusky 
in  the  afternoon.  Cole  and  young  Wilson  waited,  and 
finally  Cole,  becoming  impatient,  said  to  Wilson  : 

"  It's  strange  these  officers  are  not  ashore  before  this. 
You  go  off  and  see  them." 

"  They  would  not  come  for  me,"  said  Wilson.  "  You'd 
better  go." 


24       MEMOIRS  OF  A  GREAT  DETECTIVE 

Cole,  who  usually  dressed  in  black  or  dark  clothes,  was 
dressed  on  this  day  in  a  suit  of  grey.  He  discussed  the 
matter  of  going  over  for  the  officers  with  Wilson,  who 
walked  down  to  the  dock  with  him  and  said  : 

"  Here's  a  boat  belonging  to  the  ship  now.  Go  off  in 
her  and  get  them.     I'll  go  with  you." 

Cole  handed  a  $10  bill  to  the  coxswain  of  the  boat's 
crew  and  told  him  to  take  the  boys  up  for  a  drink.  All 
went  except  the  boat-keeper,  who  waited  with  Cole  and 
Wilson,  and  James  Hunter,  an  officer  of  the  Michigan, 
who  was  ashore.  When  the  crew  returned  they  willingly 
pulled  off  to  the  U.S.S.  Michigan,  lying  three  miles  off 
Sandusky.  About  half-way  out,  Cole,  who  seemed  to 
have  a  presentiment  of  trouble,  decided  to  turn  back. 

"  The  pennant  of  the  ship  is  flying,"  remarked  young 
Wilson  to  the  coxswain. 

"  Yes,  we'll  have  to  go  on  and  I'll  bring  you  back  as 
soon  as  I've  reported,"  said  the  coxswain. 

They  went  on  to  the  Michigan.  The  officers  aboard 
greeted  Cole  cordially  and  invited  him  to  have  a  glass 
of  wine,  telling  him  they  were  sorry  to  disarrange  his 
plans  or  delay  his  party.  Young  Wilson  called  on 
Carter  in  his  cabin. 

"  I  have  the  man,"  he  said  as  he  entered. 

"  The  right  man  ?  " 

"  Not  a  shadow  of  doubt,"  said  Wilson. 

"  Bring  him  up,"  said  Carter. 

Young  Wilson  turned  to  the  orderly.  "  Tell  Mr.  Cole 
Captain  Carter  wishes  to  see  him,"  he  said. 

Cole  appeared,  smiling  and  merry.  Young  Wilson 
met  him  on  deck. 

"  The  captain  wants  to  see  you,"  said  young  Wilson. 

At  the  tone  of  his  voice  Cole  stopped  short  and 
looked  at  him,  his  eyes  like  gimlets  boring  for  what  it 
all  meant.  Then  he  laughed  and  went  to  see  Carter. 
He  entered  with  Wilson. 

"  Captain  Carter,  this  is  Mr.  Cole,  a  rebel  spy,"  said 
Wilson. 

"  Murray,  arrest  him,"  said  Carter  to  young  Wilson. 


CONFEDERATE  COLE'S  COUP  25 

"  I  am  not  a  spy ;  I  am  a  Confederate  officer,"  said 
Cole,  who  had  straightened  and  stiffened. 

Carter  smiled.  Cole  thrust  a  hand  in  his  grey  coat 
and  drew  forth  his  commission,  signed  by  Jeff  Davis, 
showing  him  to  be  a  major  in  the  Confederate  army. 
Murray  took  it  and  read  it. 

"  Take  him  and  search  him,  Murray,"  said  Carter. 

Cole,  accompanied  by  his  former  friend,  Wilson  of 
New  Orleans,  now  Murray  of  the  Michigan,  went  to  a 
cabin,  and  a  sentry  was  placed  at  the  door.  Murray 
searched  him  and  found  $600  in  currency,  some  letters 
and  papers,  and  ten  certified  cheques  for  $5, 000  each,  on 
the  Bank  of  Montreal,  Canada,  payable  to  bearer. 
Murray  laid  them  all  out.     Cole  eyed  him  and  laughed. 

"  You  served  me  well,  Murray  Wilson,  or  Wilson 
Murray,  or  whatever  the  deuce  your  name  may  be,"  he 
said. 

"  I  served  the  best  I  could,"  said  Murray. 

"  Sit  down,"  said  Cole. 

Murray  and  Cole  sat  down. 

" '  Now,  you're  a  pretty  smart  young  fellow,'  said  Cole 
to  me,"  said  Murray,  in  telling  of  what  occurred.  "  '  We 
got  along  very  well,  didn't  we  ?  You  wouldn't  like  to 
see  me  hung,  would  you  ?  ' 

"  I  said :  '  I  wouldn't  like  to  see  anybody  get  hung.' 

"  '  Well,  that's  what  you're  trying  to  do  with  me,'  said 
Cole. 

"  I  said :  '  It's  a  very  unfortunate  thing,  and  I  hope  I 
am  not  responsible.' 

"  Cole  was  very  cool.  He  had  the  best  nerve  of  any 
man  I  ever  saw.  He  made  no  fuss,  his  voice  never 
changed,  his  face  never  lost  its  jolly,  careless  expression 
for  a  minute.  '  I  suppose  I  ought  to  shoot  you,'  he  said, 
'  and,  if  I  had  a  gun  and  could  get  away,  I'd  probably  do 
it,  for  business  is  business,  Wilson,  and  war  is  hellish 
business.  There  is  $50,000  in  gold  in  those  cheques. 
They  are  as  good  this  minute  as  the  gold  in  the  Bank  of 
Montreal.  You  can  keep  them.  No  one  aboard  here 
knows  I  have  them.     You  can  cash  them  when  you  wish. 


26       MEMOIRS  OF  A  GREAT  DETECTIVE 

All  I  ask  is  that  you  won't  know  enough  to  get  the  rope 
around  my  neck  and  that,  if  the  chance  comes,  you'll  do 
me  a  friendly  turn  to  get  away.  Once  I'm  out,  you  can 
give  me  $500  or  enough  to  get  South,  or  you  needn't 
give  me  five  cents.  It's  a  fair  bargain,  isn't  it,  Wilson  ? 
My  young  friend,  you'll  never  get  such  a  chance  again  in 
your  life. 

"  I  saw  the  possibilities  of  it  in  a  flash.  It  was  a  for- 
tune in  my  grasp,  yet  if  I  took  those  cheques,  the  merry 
little  Mr.  Cole  could  have  sent  for  Carter  and  said  :  '  Let 
me  suggest  you  search  your  man,  Murray,  or  Wilson.  I 
think  he's  the  one  of  us  who  should  be  under  arrest.' 
Or,  if  Cole  saw  that  to  play  me  false  would  mean  his 
own  death,  there  still  was  the  idea  of  selling  out  your 
country ;  and  I  wouldn't  have  done  that  for  as  many 
millions.  I  was  a  young  fellow  and  $50,000  was  more 
then  than  $500,000  would  look  now,  but  I  thank  the 
everlasting  God  that  I  had  the  sense  to  say  :  '  That  may 
be,  Mr.  Cole.  I  may  never  get  such  a  chance  again. 
I'll  do  what  I  can  consistent  with  my  duty,  but  I  cannot 
well  make  you  any  promises.' 

"  '  Wilson,  you're  a  fool,'  he  said. 

" '  Mr.  Cole,  would  you  sell  out  the  Confederacy  ? '  I 
asked,  for  I  was  vexed  over  the  turn  of  affairs  with  him. 

"  His  manner  changed.  He  put  out  his  hand  and 
shook  mine. 

" '  No,  Mr.  Wilson,  I  wouldn't,'  he  said.  '  I  under- 
stand you  now.' 

"  We  chatted  pleasantly.  He  asked  me  where  I  first 
saw  him.  I  told  him  the  whole  story  of  my  trailing  him, 
giving  him  even  the  numbers  of  the  rooms  in  the  hotels 
at  which  he  had  stopped. 

"  '  You're  right,'  he  said,  '  but  I  could  swear,  on  a  stack 
of  Bibles  as  high  as  this  ship,  that  I  never  saw  you  be- 
fore I  saw  you  in  Sandusky.' 

"  As  I  left  him,  a  prisoner,  he  shook  hands  and  said  : 
'  You  won't  reconsider  about  the  cheques  ? '  I  shook 
my  head  and  left  him  smiling  in  the  little  cabin  with  the 
sentry  at  the  door." 


CONFEDERATE  COLE'S  COUP  27 

Carter  alone  had  been  in  the  secret  of  Murray's 
masquerade  as  Wilson.  Officer  James  Hunter,  of  the 
Michigan,  rendered  valued  assistance  on  the  day  of  the 
arrest.  Murray  had  arranged  for  the  boat's  crew  to  be 
waiting  at  the  landing  to  take  Cole  to  the  ship,  and 
Murray  had  intercepted  telegrams  to  Cole  and  thus  had 
learned  of  the  telegram  about  the  "  sixteen  shares." 

"  My  own  common  sense  told  me  the  sixteen  shares 
meant  sixteen  men,"  said  Murray.  "  The  way  they 
would  come  would  be  on  the  Parsons." 

With  Cole  a  prisoner  aboard  the  Michigan,  Carter 
made  ready  to  capture  the  men  on  the  Parsons.  Neither 
Murray  nor  Carter  knew  at  that  time  that  Cole  had  ar- 
ranged for  the  Parsons  to  stay  outside  until  he  should  go 
out  with  his  yacht  and  give  them  a  signal  to  come  in. 
He  was  to  slip  away  from  his  guests  at  the  Seven  Mile 
House,  drive  swiftly  to  Sandusky,  and  go  out  to  meet 
the  Parsons  while  the  officers  were  enjoying  themselves 
seven  miles  away. 

"  They  had  all  their  plans  made,"  says  Murray,  "  to 
meet  Cole,  and  go  in  small  boats  to  the  Michigan,  cap- 
ture the  ship,  and  then  run  over  to  Johnson  Island  and 
release  the  four  thousand  Confederate  prisoners,  chiefly 
officers,  imprisoned  there.  They  planned  to  land  them 
at  Point  Pelee  in  Canada,  right  across  the  lake.  They 
were  to  approach  the  Michigan,  and  when  asked  who 
came  there  Cole  would  answer.  He  was  well  known  to 
all,  and  relied  on  no  one  to  suspect  him.  Once  aboard, 
he  believed  he  could  carry  the  hatches  with  a  rush.  The 
Michigan  had  fourteen  cannon  aboard  her,  six  parrot 
rifles,  six  twenty-four  pound  howitzers,  two  light  how- 
itzers, and  over  a  hundred  tons  of  ammunition.  They 
had  no  other  heavily  armed  craft  to  fear  on  the  lake. 
They  believed  they  could  not  only  liberate  their  four 
thousand  men  on  Johnson  Island  and  land  them  in 
Canada,  but  also  could  sail  the  lake  without  fear  of 
superior  vessel  until  they  had  bombarded  and  burned 
Detroit,  Cleveland,  and  Buffalo.  Some  of  the  captured 
papers  corroborated  details  of  this  plot." 


28       MEMOIRS  OF  A  GREAT  DETECTIVE 

But  the  Parsons  did  not  go  in  at  Sandusky.  Her 
Confederate  crew  waited  in  vain  for  the  signal  from 
Cole.  They  became  alarmed,  scented  disaster,  went 
back  to  the  Detroit  River  under  cover  of  darkness,  scut- 
tled the  Parsons,  and  landed  in  Amherstburg,  Canada. 
The  Michigan,  after  watching  all  night  for  the  Parsons, 
went  searching  for  her  the  next  morning,  and  found  her 
scuttled. 

"  The  rumour  of  the  plot  had  spread  with  the  arrest  of 
Cole,"  says  Murray ;  "  and  when  the  Michigan  returned 
to  Sandusky  all  guns  were  trained  on  her  until  it  was 
learned  that  the  Confederates  had  not  captured  her. 
Some  of  her  officers  went  off  her,  and  were  recognised, 
so  that  she  would  not  be  fired  on. 

"  That  night,  another  officer  went  with  me,  and  we  ar- 
rested Robinson  at  his  boarding-house  in  Sandusky. 
He  had  twenty  revolvers  in  a  trunk.  A  family  of 
Southern  Hebrews,  named  Rosenthal,  also  found  them- 
selves in  trouble.  Quite  a  little  colony  of  Southern  sym- 
pathisers were  clustered  in  Sandusky  at  that  time.  I 
next  went  to  Irish  Lize.  She  was  infuriated.  When  I 
searched  her  trunk  she  seized  me,  and  when  I  shook  her 
off  she  wanted  to  shoot  me.  In  one  of  her  trunks  were 
dozens  of  pairs  of  gloves.  She  informed  me  gratuitously 
that  she  never  wore  a  pair  of  gloves  a  second  time.  I 
told  her  that,  if  she  had  not  tried  to  shoot  me,  I  would 
have  believed  her  a  perfect  lady,  even  if  I  knew  nothing 
about  the  gloves. 

"  There  was  quite  a  how-de-do  over  the  entire  affair. 
Major-General  Hancock  and  Major-General  Heinzelman 
were  sent  on  to  investigate.  I  was  sent  to  Cleveland  to 
meet  them,  and  accompanied  them  to  Sandusky.  They 
talked  at  first  of  trying  Cole  by  a  military  commission. 
I  told  them  what  I  knew  of  the  matter,  and  what  sort  of 
chap  Cole  was.  After  hearing  all  the  facts  they  returned 
to  Washington. 

"  Cole  was  transferred  from  the  Michigan  to  Johnson 
Island,  and  thence  to  Fort  Lafayette  at  New  York,  and 
from  there  to  Fort  Warren,  in  Boston,  where  he  was  held 


A  WORD  BY  THE  WAY  29 

until  after  Lincoln's  proclamation.  I  had  sold  his  horses 
for  him,  and  closed  up  his  business  affairs  at  Sandusky, 
and  turned  over  the  proceeds  to  him.  The  Rosenthals 
were  liberated.  Beal  disappeared.  Robinson  was  held 
until  after  Lincoln's  proclamation.  Cole  never  was  tried. 
He  came  to  see  me  after  his  release. 

" '  Murray,'  he  said,  '  you  were  a fool.' 

"  I  thought  of  Irish   Lize,  and  concluded  that  while 
Cole  was  a  little  fellow  he  was  a  bigger  fool  than  I." 


IV 

A  WORD  BY  THE  WAY 

When  the  war  was  over  and  Murray  left  the  Service 
he  went  to  Washington.  It  was  the  day  before  Christ- 
mas in  1866.  He  called  at  the  Navy  Department. 
There  were  officials  there  who  remembered  his  work  in 
the  Cole  case,  and  before .  New  Year  arrangements  had 
been  made  for  Murray  to  become  identified  with  the 
United  States  Service  on  special  duty. 

"  Wood  was  chief  of  the  Secret  Service  in  those  days," 
says  Murray.  "  I  became,  so  to  speak,  a  special  agent 
in  the  Navy  Department.  For  about  two  years  I  en- 
gaged in  this  work.  It  took  me  all  over  the  country, 
particularly  through  the  South.  I  was  in  New  Orleans, 
Mobile,  Charleston,  Pensacola,  and  other  Southern  cities, 
and  was  on  duty  in  New  York  for  some  time.  My  ex- 
perience here  settled  finally  my  determination  to  make 
the  detective  business  my  life-work.  I  realised  that  to 
make  a  success  of  it  I  would  have  to  go  to  work  to  per- 
fect myself  in  it,  just  as  does  a  man  fitting  himself  for 
any  other  business,  and  advancing  himself  after  he  en- 
gages in  it. 

"  The  detective  business  is  the  higher  branch  of  the 
police  business.  A  man  may  be  an  excellent  policeman, 
and  yet  be  an  utter  failure  as  a  detective ;  and  I  have 


30       MEMOIRS  OF  A  GREAT  DETECTIVE 

seen  many  a  clever  detective,  who  was  out  of  his  element 
in  the  simpler  lines  of  police  duty.  There  is  no  magic 
about  the  detective  business.  A  detective  walking  along 
the  street  does  not  suddenly  hear  a  mysterious  voice 
whisper :  '  Banker  John  Jones  has  just  been  robbed  of 
$1,000,000.'  He  does  not  turn  the  corner  and  come  upon 
a  perfect  stranger,  and  then,  because  the  stranger  has  a 
twisted  cigar  in  his  mouth,  suddenly  pounce  upon  him 
and  exclaim :  '  Aha,  villain  that  you  are  !  give  back  to 
Banker  Jones  the  $1,000,000  you  stole  ten  minutes  ago  ! ' 
The  detective  business  is  of  no  such  foolish  and  impossi- 
ble character.  Detectives  are  not  clairvoyants,  or  infalli- 
ble prophets,  or  supernatural  seers.  They  possess  no 
uncanny  powers  and  no  mantle  of  mysterious  wonder- 
working. I  remember  a  few  years  ago  I  was  subpoenaed 
before  a  grand  jury  in  the  city  of  New  York  to  testify  on 
a  matter  pertaining  to  a  prisoner,  whose  record  I  knew 
here  in  Canada.  The  foreman  of  that  jury  was  a  man 
prominent  in  New  York's  business  life.  When  I  was 
called  he  looked  at  me  and  suddenly  said : 

" '  Inspector  Murray,  what  crimes  have  been  com- 
mitted within  the  past  hour  in  New  York,  and  who 
committed  them  ? ' 

"  '  I  have  not  the  slightest  idea,'  I  replied. 

"  '  Oh,  ho  !  So  you  cannot  go  out  and  put  your  hands 
on  every  man  who  has  committed  a  crime  ?  You  are  a 
detective,  yet  cannot  do  that  ? '  he  said. 

" '  I  am  not  that  kind  of  detective,'  I  replied.  '  When 
I  get  a  guilty  man  it  usually  is  by  hard  work  or  good 
luck,  and  often  by  both.' 

" '  Thank  the  Lord  we've  found  a  detective  who  is  not 
greater  than  God,'  he  said. 

"  As  a  matter  of  fact  the  detective  business  is  a  plain, 
ordinary  business,  just  like  a  lawyer's  business,  a  doc- 
tor's business,  a  railway  manager's  business.  It  has  its 
own  peculiarities  because  it  deals  with  crime,  with  the 
distorted,  imperfect,  diseased  members  of  the  social  body, 
just  as  a  surgeon's  business  deals  with  the  distorted,  im- 
perfect, diseased  members  of  the  physical  body.     But  it 


A  WORD  BY  THE  WAY  31 

is  not  an  abnormal  or  phenomenal  or  incomprehensible 
business.  There  is  nothing  done  in  it,  nothing  accom- 
plished by  any  detective,  that  is  not  the  result  of  con- 
scientious work,  the  exercise  of  human  intelligence,  an 
efficient  system  of  organisation  and  inter-communication 
and  good  luck.  A  good  detective  must  be  quick  to 
think,  keen  to  analyse,  persistent,  resourceful,  and  cour- 
ageous. But  the  best  detective  in  the  world  is  a  human 
being,  neither  half-devil  nor  half-god,  but  just  a  man  with 
the  attributes  or  associates  that  make  him  successful  in 
his  occupation. 

"  A  wide  acquaintance  is  one  of  the  most  valuable 
assets  of  a  detective.  The  more  crooks  he  knows  the 
better.  I  have  seen  detectives  visit  a  prison,  and  walk 
through  it,  recognising  man  after  man — hundreds  of 
them.  I  have  seen  detectives  stand  before  photograph 
cases,  and  name  and  describe  criminal  after  criminal,  even 
to  the  minute  eccentricities  of  each  one.  A  good  mem- 
ory is  a  great  help ;  in  fact,  it  is  essential  to  the  equip- 
ment of  a  clever  detective.  A  wide  acquaintance  of  the 
proper  sort  is  invaluable.  Personal  friendship,  among 
detectives  and  police  departments  of  different  cities  and 
different  countries,  is  one  of  the  greatest  aids  to  efficient 
detective  work.  Detectives  and  police  departments  can 
help  one  another,  for  by  their  cooperation  they  create  a 
detective  system  that  covers  the  world.  If  a  criminal 
escapes  in  one  city  he  is  apt  to  be  captured  in  another, 
and  times  without  number  the  perpetrators  of  crime  in 
one  community  are  arrested  by  the  police  of  another, 
and  held  until  called  for  by  the  police  of  the  place  where 
they  are  wanted.  From  the  outset  of  my  career  I  have 
made  it  a  point  to  increase  steadily  and  systematically 
my  acquaintance  among  detectives,  among  criminals, 
among  bankers,  lawyers,  business  men,  professional  men, 
people  of  all  sorts  and  conditions.  Hundreds  of  times  I 
have  had  occasion  to  be  glad  I  did  this.  By  knowing  a 
man  in  the  right  way  personally,  you  will  find  he  will  do 
things  for  you  in  a  pinch,  that  he  never  would  do  for  you 
otherwise,  under  any  circumstances. 


32        MEMOIRS  OF  A  GREAT  DETECTIVE 

"  Personal  knowledge  of  crooks  is  valuable,  for  many 
reasons.  Often  you  may  recognise  the  perpetrator  of  a 
crime  from  a  witness's  description  of  a  person  seen  in  the 
vicinity.  You  may  recognise  a  certain  kind  of  burglary 
as  the  work  of  a  certain  gang.  In  an  emergency  you 
may  gather  information  from  crooks  that  will  enable  you 
to  lay  your  hands  on  the  very  man  you  are  after. 

"  Much  has  been  written  about  crooks  by  students  of 
the  social  problem  and  by  scientists.  At  least  all  writers 
agree  that  they  are  a  queer  lot,  a  class  by  themselves, 
with  a  life  of  their  own  and  a  point  of  view  that  is  pe- 
culiarly their  own.  They  have  the  characteristic  of  grati- 
tude in  perhaps  a  greater  degree  than  some  other  classes 
of  humanity.  Of  course,  there  are  exceptions.  But 
crooks  as  a  whole  have  a  code  of  honour,  or  rather  a 
code  of  dishonour,  that  is  always  paradoxical,  yet  they 
adhere  to  it.  If  you  do  one  of  them  a  favour — that  is, 
a  turn  that  he,  not  you,  regards  as  a  favour  to  him — he 
will  not  forget  it.  More  opportunities  than  are  imagined 
present  themselves  where,  in  no  way  inconsistent  with  his 
duty,  a  detective  may  gain  the  favour  instead  of  the  dis- 
favour of  a  crook.  The  best  crooks  make  the  least  trouble 
personally  to  a  detective.  They  are  the  hardest  to  catch, 
next  to  unknown  crooks  who  are  on  the  road  for  the 
first  time,  but  once  they  are  caught  they  realise  that  the 
part  of  wisdom  is  to  acquiesce. 

"  Crime  is  a  disease.  It  is  hereditary,  just  as  consump- 
tion is  hereditary.  It  may  skip  a  generation  or  even  two 
or  three  generations.  But  it  is  an  inherent,  inherited 
weakness.  I  am  satisfied  of  this.  I  have  seen  instances 
where  the  identical  kind  of  crime  has  appeared  in  genera- 
tion after  generation,  great-grandfather  down  through 
grandfather,  father,  son,  and  grandson.  I  have  known 
men  whose  grandfathers  were  horse  thieves  or  counter- 
feiters, and  whose  fathers  were  honest,  to  become  horse 
thieves  or  counterfeiters  and  do  nothing  else  dishonest. 
In  the  oldest  records  of  crime  we  find  inherited  crime 
traced  through  three  hundred  years,  and  even  longer. 
The  conditions   of  the  criminal  may  be  bettered,  just  as 


A  WORD  BY  THE  WAY  33 

the  conditions  of  the  consumptive  may  be  bettered.  The 
disease  may  be  checked :  in  some  instances  it  may  be 
averted,  but  the  crime-germ,  if  I  may  use  the  word,  is 
there,  lurking  in  the  life  of  the  victim.  You  have  read 
of  people  living  immaculate  lives  for  many  years  and 
suddenly  succumbing  to  crime.  The  disease  was  ever 
present,  but  was  not  manifest.  Crime  also  is  contagious. 
Constant  contact  with  criminals  often  leads  others  to  be- 
come criminals.     It  is  the  old  story  of  '  evil  associations.' 

"  Once  dishonest,  always  dishonest.  That  is  the  gen- 
eral rule.  I  believe  in  it  absolutely.  Reformation  is  the 
exception.  The  degree  of  dishonesty  may  vary,  but  the 
fact  of  dishonesty  does  not  alter.  I  made  up  my  mind 
slowly  on  this  point,  and  I  reached  my  decision  with  re- 
luctance. But  I  have  seen  it  over  and  over  again.  It  is 
observed  more  clearly  about  professional  dishonesty  than 
amateur  dishonesty,  if  I  may  draw  such  a  distinction. 
The  crook  who  goes  to  prison  once  is  apt  to  turn  up 
again  in  the  hands  of  the  police.  The  mark  of  profes- 
sionalism in  dishonesty  is  acquaintance,  as  a  prisoner, 
with  the  police.  There  is  many  an  amateur  who  belongs 
to  the  professional  class ;  and  there  are  those  in  the  pro- 
fessional class  who  belong  to  the  amateurs.  That  is  one 
of  the  vexations  of  the  detective  business. 

"  The  business  is  full  of  vexations.  There  are  times 
when  you  know  to  a  certainty  the  doer  of  a  deed,  yet 
arrest  must  wait  until  the  evidence  is  in  hand.  Some- 
times the  evidence  never  comes,  and  you  see  the  years  go 
by,  with  a  guilty  man  enjoying  the  liberty  denied  to 
another,  no  more  guilty,  who  had  not  the  good  fortune 
to  lose  some  links  in  the  chain  of  evidence  that  sur- 
rounded him.     It  is  the  law  of  chance. 

"  I  believe  in  circumstantial  evidence.  I  have  found  it 
surer  than  direct  evidence  in  many,  many  cases.  Where 
circumstantial  evidence  and  direct  evidence  unite,  of 
course,  the  result  is  most  satisfactory.  There  are  those 
who  say  that  circumstances  may  combine  in  a  false  con- 
clusion. This  is  far  less  apt  to  occur  than  the  falsity  of 
direct  evidence  given  by  a  witness  who  lies  point  blank, 


34       MEMOIRS  OF  A  GREAT  DETECTIVE 

and  who  cannot  be  contradicted  save  by  a  judgment  of 
his  falsity  through  the  manner  of  his  lying.  Few  people 
are  good  liars.  Many  of  them  make  their  lies  too  prob- 
able ;  they  outdo  truth  itself.  To  detect  a  liar  is  a  great 
gift.  It  is  a  greater  gift  to  detect  the  lie.  I  have  known 
instances  where,  by  good  fortune,  I  detected  the  liar  and 
then  the  lie,  and  learned  the  whole  truth  simply  by  listen- 
ing to  the  lie,  and  thereby  judging  the  truth.  There  is 
no  hard  and  fast  rule  for  this  detection.  The  ability 
to  do  it  rests  with  the  man.  It  is  largely  a  matter  of 
instinct. 

"  The  best  detective,  therefore,  is  a  man  who  instinct- 
ively detects  the  truth,  lost  though  it  may  be  in  a  maze 
of  lies.  By  instinct  he  is  a  detective.  He  is  born  to  it ; 
his  business  is  his  natural  bent.  It  would  be  a  platitude 
to  say  the  best  detectives  are  born,  not  made.  They  are 
both  born  and  made  for  the  business.  The  man  who,  by 
temperament  and  make-up,  is  an  ideal  detective,  must 
go  through  the  hard  years  of  steady  work,  must  apply 
himself,  and  study  and  toil  in  making  himself  what  he  is 
born  to  be.  Sandow  was  born  to  be  a  strong  man,  but, 
if  he  had  not  developed  himself  by  hard  work,  he  would 
not  have  become  the  strongest  man  of  his  time.  As  a 
detective  advances  in  his  business  he  will  find  that  the 
more  he  studies  and  works,  the  stronger  his  powers  of 
intuition,  of  divination,  of  analysis,  become.  A  very 
simple  broad  illustration  will  prove  this.  If  a  detective 
is  chasing  a  criminal  from  country  to  country,  and  has 
learned,  by  study  of  the  extradition  treaties,  that  a  cer- 
tain country  offers  a  better  haven  than  another,  he  may 
save  himself  many  a  weary  mile  by  going  to  the  country 
where  his  common  sense  tells  him  his  man  is  more  likely 
to  be.  A  mechanical  knowledge  of  the  use  of  tools,  a 
knowledge  of  the  effects  of  poisons,  a  knowledge  of  the 
ways  of  banking,  of  the  habits  of  life  of  the  various 
classes  in  various  callings,  a  knowledge  of  crooks,  and, 
above  all,  a  knowledge  of  human  nature,  in  whatsoever 
way  manifest,  are  invaluable  elements  of  the  equipment 
of  a  good  detective. 


KNAPP:  A  WEAZENED  WONDER  35 

"  In  a  vague  way  I  held  these  opinions  away  back  in 
1866,  when,  as  a  young  fellow  of  twenty-six,  I  left  the 
Service  in  the  Navy  after  the  war,  and  for  about  two 
years  served  as  a  special  agent  in  the  employ  of  the 
United  States  Government.  I  made  acquaintances  all 
over  the  country  in  those  days,  many  of  them  being 
young  fellows  like  myself,  who  were  in  the  police  busi- 
ness then,  and  later  became  heads  of  detective  or  police 
departments.  I  obtained  my  first  experience  then  in  the 
secrets  of  counterfeiting,  in  the  arts  of  burglars,  in  the 
ways  of  the  classes  of  thieves  busy  in  those  days  in  all 
parts  of  the  United  States,  and  more  or  less  bothersome 
at  times  to  the  Government.  It  was  precisely  the  expe- 
rience and  training  I  needed  at  that  time. 

"  In  1868  I  was  persuaded  to  go  to  Erie,  Pennsylvania, 
where  I  had  made  friends  during  my  early  days  on  the 
lakes,  including  prominent  railroad  men,  and  joined  the 
police  force  there.  In  the  four  or  five  years  I  remained 
there  I  had  plenty  to  do,  and  it  fitted  me  further  for  the 
work  I  had  outlined  for  myself.  I  became  a  detective 
on  the  force  in  Erie.  Tom  Crowley,  a  man  I  loved  and 
respected,  was  chief  at  that  time. 

"Sometimes,  when  the  wind  howls  and  the  world  is 
full  of  gusts  and  gales,  and  I  am  caught  where  the  man 
next  me  has  a  pipe  as  old  as  Methuselah,  and  tobacco  as 
strong  as  Samson,  my  mind  turns  back  to  Crowley,  and 
there  flit  through  my  memory,  like  ghosts  of  long  ago, 
episodes  of  the  old  days  in  Erie  when  I  was  a  sleuth 
from  Sleuthville,  and  mighty  proud  of  it,  too." 


V 

KNAPP:  A  WEAZENED  WONDER 

A  plague  of  sneak-thieving  broke  out  in  Erie  in  1869, 
shortly  after  Murray  became  a  detective.  It  grew  to  be 
epidemic.     Furniture   vanished   out   of  houses.     Cloth- 


36       MEMOIRS  OF  A  GREAT  DETECTIVE 

ing  seemed  to  fall  upon  the  backs  of  invisible  wearers 
and  saunter  into  Spookland.  Ploughs  disappeared  from 
farmers'  fields,  as  if  they  had  started  on  the  shortest  route 
to  China.  Horses  trotted  off  into  nowhere.  Entire 
shelves  in  stores  were  swept  bare  in  a  single  night,  and 
from  one  of  them  twenty  dozen  pairs  of  shoes  seemed  to 
walk  out  of  sight  at  midday. 

" '  We  had  better  order  the  people  to  anchor  their 
houses,'  said  Crowley  to  me,"  says  Murray,  in  telling  the 
story.  "  We  watched  all  day  and  we  watched  all  night 
for  weeks,  but  the  stealing  went  on  just  the  same. 
Crowley  said  it  must  be  giant  rats,  who  had  a  den  in 
the  bowels  of  the  earth  and  decided  to  furnish  it  from 
Erie.  He  said  some  one  had  told  him  that  in  India  they 
had  a  plague,  by  which  people  wasted  away  and  finally 
dried  up.  He  concluded  that  the  plague  had  spread 
from  India  to  Erie,  and  had  seized  upon  everything  port- 
able in  and  around  the  town.  '  They're  not  stolen,  they 
just  waste  away/  said  Crowley.  '  It's  a  case  of  now 
you  see  them,  now  you  don't.'  To  clinch  this,  one  of 
the  men  began  to  lose  his  hair.  Crowley  pointed  to  it 
and  exclaimed :  '  See,  it's  just  wasting  away.'  I  had  a 
moustache  that  was  not  flourishing  just  then  and  I  shaved 
it  off.  When  I  appeared  for  duty  the  next  day  Crowley 
gasped : 

"  «  Great  Scott,  Murray !  They  didn't  steal  your  mous- 
tache, did  they  ? ' 

"  Finally,  a  new  democrat  waggon  disappeared.  It 
belonged  to  James  Tolwarthy,  a  grocer,  who  had  left  it 
in  front  of  his  store  the  day  after  he  had  paid  $275  for 
it.  The  democrat  had  gone,  as  completely  as  if  a  mod- 
ern Elijah  had  impressed  it  for  chariot  service  to  the 
skies.  Tolwarthy  was  angry.  He  kept  his  waggons 
usually  in  a  hotel  shed  near  his  store.  When  he  went 
there  to  look  for  his  new  democrat  he  found  an  old 
crackey  waggon  standing  in  its  stead.  It  stood  there 
for  weeks,  and  every  day  we  went  to  look  at  it,  as  if  its 
tongue  could  tell  us  who  left  it  there. 

"  We  searched  every  stable  and  every  vacant  building 


KNAPP:  A  WEAZENED  WONDER         37 

in  the  town.  Not  a  trace  of  Tolwarthy's  democrat  or 
of  any  other  vanished  property  did  we  find.  A  little 
child  can  lead  us,  however,  and  I  came  across  a  boy  who 
said  he  thought  he  had  seen  the  man  who  left  the  waggon 
in  Tolwarthy's  shed.  He  described  him  as  best  he  could. 
It  was  not  much  of  a  description,  but  a  poor  description 
is  as  good  as  a  good  photograph  any  day.  I  would 
rather  have  a  fair  description  than  a  dozen  photographs 
when  it  comes  to  going  after  a  man  I  never  saw.  I  took 
the  lad's  description  and  started  out  to  visit  every  farm- 
house on  every  road  leading  out  of*  Erie.  I  nosed  into 
all  of  them  for  a  radius  of  several  miles.  I  found  no 
such  man  as  the  lad  described,  and  no  haymow  hid  any 
plunder  either,  for  I  climbed  into  all  of  them. 

"  At  last  I  found  a  farmer  who  had  seen  a  fellow  drive 
by  his  house  in  a  new  democrat  about  the  time  Tol- 
warthy's waggon  vanished  and  the  description  of  the 
democrat  tallied  with  that  of  Tolwarthy's  democrat,  while 
the  description  of  the  man  proved  him  the  same  fellow 
seen  by  the  lad. 

"  Crowley,  Officer  Snyder,  and  myself  got  a  team  and 
started  to  drive  the  road  the  stranger  went  with  Tol- 
warthy's waggon.  We  stopped  at  every  house  along  the 
way,  but  not  a  sign  or  trace  of  him  could  we  find.  For 
a  dozen  miles  we  made  this  farm-to-farm  search.  After 
fifteen  miles  or  more  we  decided  to  put  up  the  horses  for 
a  feed  and  rest.  We  turned  off  the  main  road,  and  in  a 
secluded,  out-of-the-way  place,  in  a  clearing  with  about 
twenty-five  acres  of  pine-woods  around  it,  we  saw  a 
house.  No  one  was  in  sight.  We  hailed,  and  presently 
a  buxom,  blooming  woman,  about  twenty-five  years  old, 
seemed  to  pop  out  of  nowhere  and  ask  us  if  we  wanted 
anything.  Crowley  asked  for  the  man  of  the  place,  as  he 
wanted  to  feed  his  horses.  The  woman  whistled  and  out 
from  a  clump  of  bushes  near  the  barn  came  a  little, 
weazened  old  fellow,  about  fifty  years  old.  He  reminded 
me  of  a  muskrat.  The  moment  I  laid  eyes  on  him  I  re- 
called the  description  by  the  lad  of  the  man  who  left  the 
crackey  waggon. 


38       MEMOIRS  OF  A  GREAT  DETECTIVE 

"  We  alighted  and  fed  the  horses.  The  old  man  eyed 
them  keenly  and  looked  at  their  teeth. 

"  '  What's  your  name  ?  '  I  asked  him. 

"  '  George  Knapp,'  he  said. 

"  '  Lived  here  long  ?  ' 

" '  Me  and  my  wife  been  here  about  a  year/  he  an- 
swered. 

"  '  Your  wife  ?  '  I  said. 

"  •  Yep,  ain't  she  a  bloomer  ?  '  and  the  old  man  chuck- 
led hideously  as  he  leered  at  the  young  woman  who  was 
standing  in  the  doorway  of  the  house. 

"  He  was  keen  as  a  scythe.  I  innocently  asked  him 
if  he  had  seen  any  stranger  driving  past  his  house  in  a 
new  democrat  waggon. 

" '  Nope ;  no  one  ever  drives  past  here/  said  he. 
'  There  ain't  no  past.     The  road  stops  here.' 

"  He  parried  us  at  every  point.  We  searched  his 
place,  barn,  house,  and  outbuildings  and  found  nothing. 
Yet  I  was  morally  certain  we  had  our  man.  As  I  sat  in 
the  shade  by  the  barn  I  gazed  idly  at  the  stretch  of 
cleared  land  running  down  to  the  creek.  I  noticed  a 
place  or  two  where  the  sod  had  been  turned  recently.  It 
is  the  little  things  that  point  the  way  to  big  results.  A 
sign-board  a  foot  long  often  tells  you  the  road  for  the 
next  forty  miles. 

" '  Knapp/  I  said,  '  I  am  going  fishing  in  that  stream.' 

" '  All  right/  said  Knapp.     «  Hope  they  bite.' 

"  <  Lend  me  a  spade/  I  said. 

" '  What  for  ?  '  said  Knapp,  with  a  sudden  sharpening 
of  his  glance. 

" '  I  want  to  dig  some  bait/  said  I. 

"  Knapp  hesitated,  then  brought  a  spade,  and  followed 
me  as  I  set  out  for  the  stream.  I  halted  at  one  of  the 
spots  where  the  sod  had  been  turned. 

" '  No  good  digging  here/  said  Knapp.  '  Come  on 
farther  down.' 

" '  Why  ?  '  said  I. 

" '  This  has  been  dug/  said  Knapp.  «  It's  worm-scarce 
right  here.' 


KNAPP:  A  WEAZENED  WONDER  39 

" '  Never  mind,'  said  I.  '  I  only  want  a  few,  and  it's 
easier  digging.' 

"  The  perspiration  started  on  Knapp's  weazened, 
wrinkled  face.  I  never  dally  in  my  garden  with  my 
spade  but  I  see  a  vision  of  Knapp  dripping  like  an  April 
shower. 

"  I  drove  in  the  spade.  It  struck  something  hard.  I 
turned  back  the  soil  and  there  lay  one  of  the  wheels  of 
Tolwarthy's  democrat  buried  beneath  a  foot  of  earth.  I 
looked  at  Knapp  and  he  was  grinning  in  a  sickly  sort  of 
way.  I  called  Crowley  and  Snyder  and  arrested  Knapp. 
Then  we  led  him  down  to  the  stream  and  sat  down  and 
informed  the  old  man,  on  the  edge  of  the  water,  that  the 
wise  thing  for  him  to  do  was  to  confess  the  whole  series 
of  thefts.  He  looked  at  us  and  then  at  the  water  and 
then  back  at  us.  I  think  he  understood.  At  any  rate 
he  stood  up. 

" '  Come  on,'  he  said,  and  led  the  way  to  the  house. 

"  The  buxom  woman  met  us  at  the  door. 

" '  Get  the  shingle,'  said  Knapp. 

"  Without  a  word  she  went  indoors  and  returned  with 
a  broad  shingle.  It  was  covered  with  red  dots,  which 
Knapp  explained  were  made  with  chicken  blood.  One 
big  blotch  was  to  show  where  the  barn  stood.  The 
smaller  dots  spreading  out  beyond  it  showed  where 
Knapp  had  buried  the  plunder. 

"  We  began  to  dig.  The  first  thing  we  struck  was  a 
coffin. 

"  '  You  murderer  ! '  said  Snyder.  '  Now  we  know 
why  you  used  blood  to  dot  the  shingle.' 

"  We  lifted  the  coffin  carefully  out  of  the  grave.  It 
was  very  heavy.  We  prized  off  the  lid,  expecting  to  see 
the  mutilated  body  of  one  of  Knapp's  victims.  Instead 
of  a  pallid  face  and  glazed  eyes  we  found  dozens  of  boxes 
of  shoes.     Knapp  chuckled. 

" '  Coffins  ain't  only  for  corpuses,'  he  said. 

"  We  unearthed  samples  of  everything  from  a  needle 
to  an  anchor,  a  shroud,  a  toilet  set,  a  baby  carriage,  forty 
silk  dresses,  gold  watches,  seven  ploughs,  a  harrow,  sur- 


4o       MEMOIRS  OF  A  GREAT  DETECTIVE 

gical  instruments,  a  churn,  a  log  chain,  a  grandfather's 
clock,  a  set  of  grocer's  scales,  hats,  overcoats,  pipes,  a 
barber's  pole,  even  a  policeman's  shotgun,  that  cost  one 
of  the  Erie  policemen  $80,  and  that  Knapp  had  stolen 
from  his  house.  One  of  us  would  dig  for  a  while,  then 
Knapp  would  dig,  and  if  any  one  dug  more  than  his 
share  it  was  Knapp.  We  uncovered  ten  waggon  loads 
of  stuff,  including  Tolwarthy's  democrat,  which  Knapp 
had  buried  piece  by  piece  ;  even  the  bed  or  body  of  the 
waggon  being  interred  behind  a  clump  of  bushes.  It  was 
the  most  wholesale  thieving  I  had  known.  Old  Knapp 
gloried  in  it,  chuckling  over  each  fresh  discovery  we 
made.  The  marvel  of  it  all  was  how  he  had  managed  to 
steal  the  stuff.  He  swore  to  us  that  he  had  stolen  it  all 
single-handed,  and  I  believe  he  did. 

"  We  took  Knapp  and  his  wife  to  Erie,  and  locked 
them  up.  We  hired  a  large  vacant  store  in  the  Noble 
block  in  Erie,  hauled  in  the  plunder  from  Knapp's,  and 
put  it  on  exhibition  for  identification.  It  filled  the  place. 
Knapp  had  stolen  enough  to  equip  a  department  store. 

"  In  burying  his  plunder  he  had  boxed  it  up,  preparatory 
to  sending  it  away  in  the  fall.  He  said  frankly  that  he 
had  been  stealing  for  years.  He  explained  that  the  way 
he  did  it  was  to  drive  into  town  in  a  waggon,  pretending 
he  was  selling  farm  produce  or  garden  vegetables,  and 
seize  opportunities  in  that  way  to  familiarise  himself  with 
houses,  and  then  sneak  in  later,  and  steal  whatever  he 
could  carry  away.  No  one  seemed  to  know  much  about 
him,  either  who  he  was  or  whence  he  came.  A  year  be- 
fore he  had  settled  in  the  secluded  tract  of  timber,  and 
had  kept  entirely  to  himself.  He  told  me  he  had  preyed 
on  other  places  before  he  set  out  to  steal  everything  port- 
able in  Erie,  but  never  before  had  he  been  made  to  dig 
for  two  straight  days  uncovering  his  own  plunder. 

"  Knapp  was  very  angry  over  being  compelled  to  work 
so  steadily  with  a  spade.  He  vowed  he  would  get  even. 
Sometime  after  he  had  been  locked  up  in  Erie,  he  called 
us  in  and  informed  us,  in  profound  confidence,  that  he  had 
buried  $2,500  in  gold  out  on  his  place,  and  if  we  would 


KNAPP:  A  WEAZENED  WONDER         41 

take  him  out  there  he  would  show  us  where  it  was.  The 
story  was  plausible,  and  three  of  the  fellows  got  a  team, 
and  drove  out  seventeen  miles  with  Knapp  to  his  place. 
They  took  three  spades  and  a  pick  with  them.  Knapp 
began  a  lot  of  manoeuvring,  pacing  off  distances  from 
house  to  barn,  and  from  barn  to  tree,  and  from  tree  to 
stump.  They  followed  him,  and  he  tramped  about  for  an 
hour,  leading  them  through  briars  and  swamps,  and  finally 
back  towards  the  barn  again. 

" '  There  is  the  place,'  he  announced. 

"  They  began  to  dig  as  if  their  hope  of  eternal  salvation 
depended  on  it.  Knapp  encouraged  them  to  greater  ex- 
ertion, and  told  them  he  had  buried  the  gold  seven  feet 
deep  to  have  it  secure.  They  toiled  for  hours,  digging 
to  a  depth  of  eight  feet,  but  finding  nothing.  One  of 
them,  who  knew  unbroken  earth  when  he  dug  it,  accused 
Knapp  of  tricking.  The  old  man  said  he  might  have 
made  a  mistake  in  his  measurements,  and  he  led  them  off 
for  another  tramp  through  brush  and  wild  wood,  and 
ended  up  about  ten  feet  from  the  hole  they  had  dug  just 
before. 

" '  Ah,  yes,  I  remember.  This  is  the  place,'  said  the 
old  man.     '  There  is  $2,500  in  gold  in  two  canvas  bags.' 

"  They  fell  to  again.  It  was  a  broiling  hot  day.  They 
toiled  until  towards  sundown,  when  the  old  man  began  to 
chuckle. 

"  «  That'll  do,'  he  said.     '  I'm  even.' 

"  '  Even  for  what  ?  '  they  asked. 

" '  For  the  two  days  I  had  to  dig,'  said  Knapp. 

"  '  And  there's  no  gold  here  ? '  they  demanded  wrath- 
fully. 

"  *  There's  gold  all  right,  but  I  cannot  remember  where 
it  is,'  said  Knapp  with  a  chuckle. 

"  They  drove  him  back  to  Erie,  and  locked  him  up 
again.  He  was  tried,  convicted,  and  sentenced  to  sixteen 
years  in  the  Alleghany  Penitentiary.  His  wife  was  re- 
leased. Knapp  played  insane,  and  beat  the  penitentiary. 
He  was  transferred  to  the  lunatic  division,  and,  soon  after, 
he  sawed  the  bars,  escaped,  and  never  was  caught.     I  saw 


42       MEMOIRS  OF  A  GREAT  DETECTIVE 

him  several  times  in  the  Erie  gaol  before  he  was  sent 
away.     He  always  was  chuckling. 

"  '  Murray,'  he  would  say  on  each  occasion,  as  I  was 
leaving, '  remember  you  are  leaving  a  man  who  never  met 
a  man  who  knew  enough  to  be  his  partner.' 

"  What  became  of  him  no  one  knows.  He  was  a 
weazened  wonder." 


VI 

THE  FEMININE  FIRM  OF  HALL  AND  CARROLL 

A  comparatively  short  time  after  Knapp  was  sent 
away  thieving  began  again  in  Erie.  It  was  not  on  quite 
the  same  wholesale  basis,  but  what  was  lacking  in  quantity 
was  present  in  quality,  for  the  thieves  made  it  a  point  to 
steal  the  finest  silverware  and  jewellery.  Instead  of  sneak- 
thieving  it  was  burglary.  The  marks  of  jemmies  on  doors 
and  windows  were  sufficient  to  demonstrate  this. 

"  Crowley  thought  at  first  that  Knapp  might  have  re- 
turned and  changed  his  tactics,"  said  Murray.  "  We 
drove  out  to  Knapp's  and  made  sure  he  was  not  there, 
although  after  his  escape  from  the  penitentiary  no  one 
could  tell  what  had  become  of  him.  I  was  satisfied  from 
the  outset  that  Knapp  had  no  hand  in  the  thieving. 
Knapp  prided  himself  on  his  cleverness  as  a  sneak  thief. 
Burglary  would  be  a  clumsy  way  of  stealing,  according 
to  Knapp's  ideas. 

"  After  the  second  or  third  job  it  was  apparent  that  no 
lone  burglar  was  at  work.  There  was  a  gang,  for  some 
of  the  jobs  necessarily  called  for  a  watcher  or  lookout  on 
the  outside  while  a  pal  was  inside  a  house.  Silverware, 
fine  clothing,  and  jewellery  began  to  disappear  with  a 
regularity  that  reminded  us  often  of  the  day  when  Knapp 
was  in  his  prime.  Mr.  Skinner's  house  was  ransacked 
and  a  great  quantity  of  silverware  taken,  and  soon  after 
the  Skinner  robbery  the  home  of  Mr.  Bliss  was  plundered 
and  a  big  haul  of  silverware  and  jewellery  was  made. 


FEMININE  FIRM  OF  HALL  AND  CARROLL  43 

"  Crowley  was  worried.  So  were  the  rest  of  us.  We 
put  in  about  twenty  hours  a  day,  and  I  verily  believe  we 
scrutinised  every  man  in  and  around  Erie.  We  made 
every  stranger  account  for  himself.  We  gathered  in  all 
our  regulars  in  the  suspicious  character  line.  We  re- 
doubled our  patrol  precautions  at  night.  It  was  of  no 
avail.  The  burglaries  went  on  just  the  same.  One  night 
a  house  in  one  end  of  the  town  would  be  robbed  and  the 
next  night  the  burglars  would  do  a  job  in  the  other  end 
of  the  town.  The  only  clue  or  trace  of  them  that  I  could 
get  was  a  peculiarity  in  the  jemmy  marks,  showing  a 
piece  had  been  chipped  or  cut  out  of  the  jemmy.  But 
to  tell  the  truth  we  were  at  our  wits'  end  and  could  make 
no  headway.  There  were  so  many  burglaries,  yet  we 
could  not  get  on  to  them. 

"  Our  last  hang  out  at  night  was  the  Reed  House.  We 
would  step  in  there  regularly  before  going  to  bed.  As 
we  stood  talking  in  the  Reed  House  in  the  early  morn- 
ing hours  or  shortly  after  midnight,  I  noticed  by  the 
merest  chance  a  woman  slip  quietly  down  the  back  stairs 
and  out  into  the  night.  For  three  or  four  nights  I  ob- 
served her  doing  this.  The  clerk  told  me  she  was  a 
scrub-woman,  who  worked  late  and  lived  outside  the 
hotel.  There  was  nothing  suspicious  about  that.  I  asked 
the  clerk  where  she  lived.  He  said  he  did  not  know. 
It  was  a  pleasant  night  and  I  felt  like  taking  a  walk,  and 
just  for  amusement  I  decided  to  follow  the  old  scrub- 
woman. She  slipped  down  the  back  stairs  as  usual  and 
went  out.  I  trailed  after  her.  We  had  not  gone  five 
blocks  when  I  lost  her.  She  seemed  to  have  been 
swallowed  up  by  some  hole  in  the  earth  that  vanished 
after  devouring  her.  I  laughed  at  the  joke  on  me,  unable 
to  trail  an  old  woman,  and  I  went  to  bed. 

"  The  next  morning  Crowley  was  glum.  '  Another 
burglary  last  night,'  he  said,  and  named  a  house  about 
four  blocks  from  where  I  lost  the  old  woman.  I  said 
nothing,  but  that  night  I  was  at  the  Reed  House,  waiting 
for  my  old  scrub-woman.  About  one  o'clock  in  the 
morning  she  appeared,  a  flitting  figure  on  the  back  stairs, 


44       MEMOIRS  OF  A  GREAT  DETECTIVE 

and  darted  out.  I  was  after  her  in  a  jiffy.  For  about 
fifteen  blocks  I  followed  her.  Then  she  suddenly  turned 
a  corner  and  when  I  came  up  she  was  gone.  The  next 
morning  Crowley  was  mad  as  a  hornet.  '  Another  bur- 
glary last  night,'  said  he.  I  was  a  little  hot  myself.  But 
that  night  I  turned  up  at  the  Reed  House,  and  at  one 
o'clock  out  came  my  vanishing  scrub-woman  again  and 
away  she  went,  with  me  on  her  trail. 

"  I  have  shadowed  many  people  in  my  life,  but  that  old 
scrub-woman  was  one  of  the  most  artful  dodgers  I  ever 
knew.  I  followed  her  from  one  o'clock  until  after  four 
o'clock  in  the  morning,  up  streets  and  down  streets, 
through  alleys,  across  lots,  around  buildings,  and  then 
across  lots  again.  But  I  stuck  to  her  and  there  was  no 
corner  she  turned  that  I  was  not  close  up  to  spot  her 
if  she  dodged.  Soon  after  we  started  a  cat  suddenly 
mewed  and  startled  her  mightily.  Along  about  dawn  she 
headed  away  to  the  outskirts  of  the  town  and  stopping  in 
front  of  a  double  house  tossed  a  pebble  up  against  a  win- 
dow and  a  moment  later  went  in.  I  sat  down  some  dis- 
tance away  and  thought  it  all  over.  I  was  puzzled. 
Women  burglars  were  something  unknown  in  Erie  or 
anywhere  else,  just  then.  Yet  to  think  that  an  old 
woman  after  scrubbing  for  hours  in  an  hotel  would  go 
out  for  a  stroll  and  prowl  around  all  night  for  her  health 
was  out  of  the  question.  I  waited  until  broad  daylight 
and  when  she  did  not  come  out  I  went  to  headquarters. 

" '  Another  one  last  night,  Murray,'  said  Crowley. 

"  Then  it  could  not  have  been  my  old  scrub-woman,  for 
I  had  her  in  sight  every  minute.  However,  I  determined 
to  pay  her  a  visit.  I  took  Jake  Sandusky  of  the  police 
force,  who  now  is  the  Pennsylvania  Railway  detective, 
with  headquarters  at  Erie,  and  went  out  to  the  house. 
On  one  side  of  the  double  house  lived  Mrs.  O'Brien,  a 
respectable  woman.  She  knew  nothing  of  the  occupants 
of  the  other  side  of  the  house,  beyond  the  fact  that  they 
were  women  and  had  lived  there  less  than  a  year. 

"  I  knocked  at  the  door.  There  was  no  answer.  I 
banged  again,  loud  and  long.     I  heard  a  scurry  of  feet 


FEMININE  FIRM  OF  HALL  AND  CARROLL  45 

inside  and  finally  the  door  opened.  A  big,  fine-looking 
girl,  about  twenty-three  years  old,  stood  in  the  doorway. 
I  walked  right  in. 

"  «  What  is  your  name  ? '  I  asked  her. 

" '  Mary  Ann  Hall,'  said  she. 

" '  Do  you  live  alone  ? '  said  I. 

" '  I  live  with  my  mother/  said  Mary  Ann. 

" '  Call  your  mother/  I  said. 

"  Mary  Ann  opened  wide  her  mouth  and  let  out  a  bawl 
like  a  donkey's  bray. 

" '  Ma-a-a-aw ! '  she  bellowed. 

"  Out  from  the  adjoining  room  pranced  my  old  scrub- 
woman as  sprightly  and  spry  as  any  being  of  sixty  years 
I  ever  saw. 

"  '  What's  your  name  ? '  I  asked. 

" '  Mrs.  Julia  Hall/  said  my  old  scrub-woman,  and  if 
ever  there  is  a  gallery  for  the  portraits  of  sixty-year  old 
coquettes  I  will  contribute  the  picture  of  Julia  Hall. 

"  '  Who  else  lives  here  ? '  I  asked. 

"  The  answer  was  the  opening  of  Mary  Ann's  mouth 
in  another  prolonged  bellow. 

"  '  Ma-a-ag-gie  ! '  she  shouted. 

"  Out  from  the  adjoining  room  trotted  a  second  old 
woman,  a  little  bit  of  a  body  about  fifty  years  old,  with  a 
face  like  an  eagle's.  She  had  a  loose  ringlet  that  flipped 
around  her  cheek,  and  she  constantly  blew  at  it  out  of  the 
side  of  her  mouth  to  fleck  it  back  to  her  ear. 

"  '  Ladies,'  said  I, '  sit  down.' 

"  To  my  astonishment  all  three  promptly  sat  on  the 
floor.  I  observed  that  the  chief  articles  of  furniture  in  the 
room  were  a  cook  stove,  a  rough  kitchen  table,  and  one 
dilapidated  rocking-chair. 

"  <  Mrs.  Julia  Hall/  I  said,  and  I  can  see  her  coy  leer  as 
she  sat  on  the  floor,  '  you  were  out  all  night,  last 
night.' 

"  '  I  always  am/  she  said. 

" '  Yes,  Julia  cannot  sleep  in  the  dark,'  spoke  up  the 
eagle-faced  woman,  who  hastened  to  add  apologetically, 
'  I  am  Mrs.  Maggie  Carroll,  her  friend.' 


46       MEMOIRS  OF  A  GREAT  DETECTIVE 

"  '  I  never  sleep  in  the  night,'  said  Mrs.  Hall.  '  I  work 
or  walk  all  night,  and  when  daylight  comes  I  sleep.' 

"  '  It's  an  affliction,'  said  Mrs.  Carroll.  '  She  had  the 
fever  when  she  was  a  child.' 

"  I  talked  on  with  these  three  strange  creatures  squatted 
on  the  floor.  They  puzzled  me.  I  mentioned  the  bur- 
glaries to  them.  They  knew  nothing  of  them,  they  said. 
Mrs.  Carroll  was  particularly  vehement  in  protestations  of 
ignorance.  I  crossed  over  and  sat  down  in  the  dilapi- 
dated rocker  beside  the  range.  There  was  a  kettle  on  the 
stove,  but  no  fire.  Suddenly  the  chair  collapsed  with  a 
crash.  Over  I  went  with  my  heels  in  the  air.  One  of 
my  feet  struck  the  kettle  and  it  fell  to  the  floor  and  the 
lid  rolled  off.  The  three  women  had  laughed  uproari- 
ously when  the  chair  broke  down ;  Mary  Ann  haw- 
hawing,  Mrs.  Hall  tittering,  and  Mrs.  Carroll  cackling. 
But  when  the  kettle  fell  and  its  top  rolled  off  there  was 
sudden  silence.  I  looked  at  the  three  women  and  then 
at  the  chair  and  then  I  saw  the  kettle.  Its  top  was 
towards  me  and  inside  I  observed  what  I  thought  was  a 
stove  lifter.  I  reached  for  it  and  drew  it  out.  It  was  a 
jemmy !     Moreover,  it  was  a  nicked  jemmy  ! 

"  I  stood  up  and  eyed  the  three  women.  Mrs.  Carroll 
feigned  weeping,  but  Mrs.  Hall  tittered  and  made  saucer 
eyes,  as  if  bent  on  conquest,  even  on  the  penitentiary's 
verge. 

"  '  Mary  Ann,'  I  said,  '  you  might  save  me  the  trouble 
of  searching  the  house  by  hauling  out  the  plunder.' 

"  At  this  Mrs.  Hall  struck  Mary  Ann  a  resounding 
whack  on  the  head  and  bade  her  :  '  Squat  where  you  be, 
you  hussy ! ' 

"  I  searched  the  house.  I  found  silverware,  jewellery, 
linen,  fine  clothes  in  amazing  quantities.  The  Skinner 
silverware,  the  Bliss  silverware,  the  plunder  from  many 
houses,  all  was  recovered.  I  found  also  a  complete  set 
of  pass-keys  and  a  house-breaking  kit  of  burglar's  tools. 

"  We  arrested  the  three  women.  All  three  were  tried. 
Two,  Mrs.  Julia  Hall  and  Mrs.  Maggie  Carroll,  were  sent 
to  Alleghany  for  four  years,  and  Mary  Ann  was  let  off. 


THE  EPISODE  OF  POKE  SOLES  47 

While  in  gaol  Mary  Ann  gave  birth  to  a  bouncing  baby. 
I  asked  Mrs.  Hall  about  her  tramp  through  the  night 
when  I  was  following  her.  She  laughed  in  a  flirtatious 
way  that  was  ludicrous.  From  Mrs.  Carroll  I  learned 
that  she  and  Mrs.  Carroll  were  to  have  done  another  job 
that  night,  and  Mrs.  Hall  was  to  meet  Mrs.  Carroll  at  two 
o'clock  in  the  morning.  But  Mrs.  Carroll  had  spied  me 
trailing  Mrs.  Hall,  and  had  mewed  suddenly  like  a  cat,  a 
signal  to  Mrs.  Hall  that  she  was  being  followed.  That 
was  the  cat's  cry  that  had  startled  Mrs.  Hall,  and  caused 
her  to  prowl  around  all  night  and  not  go  home  till  morning. 
"  They  were  the  only  pair  of  professional  women  bur- 
glars working  alone  that  I  ever  met  red-handed.  They 
had  been  caught  first  in  Ireland  and  were  sent  to  Aus- 
tralia, when  they  got  into  trouble  again  and  jumped  to  the 
United  States.  Mrs.  Julia  Hall  was  the  genius  of  the 
two.  I  often  thought  that  she  was  foolish  to  use  a  nicked 
jemmy.  Her  cracked  smile  would  have  broken  into  almost 
anything." 


VII 

THE  EPISODE  OF  POKE  SOLES 

Poke  Soles  was  a  "  shover  of  the  queer."  An  epi- 
sode of  his  life  occurred  at  Erie,  following  the  capture  of 
the  women  burglars,  which  reveals  now  for  the  first  time 
the  story  of  Tom  Hale,  a  counterfeiter,  who  subsequently 
was  a  side-member  of  the  United  States  Secret  Service. 
Poke's  duties  as  a  shover  of  the  queer  were  to  pass 
counterfeit  money. 

"  In  the  winter  of  1869  and  1870  some  $20  bills  that 
were  queer,  appeared  in  Erie,"  says  Murray.  "  It  was 
some  time  after  the  women  burglars  had  been  tried  and 
sentenced.  Fred  Landers  kept  a  restaurant  in  Erie,  and 
one  day  I  happened  to  drop  in,  and  he  told  me  of  a  fel- 
low who  had  been  in  and  ordered  a  light  lunch  and  paid 


48       MEMOIRS  OF  A  GREAT  DETECTIVE 

for  it  with  a  $20  bill,  and  who  bought  a  drink  as  he  went 
out  and  offered  a  second  $20  bill  to  the  bartender,  who 
said  he  could  not  change  it.  I  looked  at  the  bank-note 
Landers  had  taken.  It  was  a  clever  one,  but  it  was  queer. 
My  experience  with  counterfeiters  in  the  special  service 
of  the  United  States  was  of  instant  value.  Landers  de- 
scribed the  man.  I  spotted  him  at  the  railroad  station 
and  got  him,  but  did  not  find  any  of  the  stuff  or  counter- 
feit money  on  him.  He  simply  was  a  shover,  one  who 
passed  the  money,  and  he  received  only  a  couple  of  $20 
bills  at  a  time. 

"  Few  classes  of  crime  are  organised  so  scientifically  as 
counterfeiting.  The  man  who  makes  the  plates  never 
does  business  with  the  men  who  pass  the  money.  The 
plate-maker  is  an  engraver  who  usually  gets  a  lump  sum 
for  his  work.  Those  who  print  the  money  are  the  man- 
ufacturers and  they  sell  the  queer  in  wholesale  quantities 
to  dealers,  who  sell  to  retail  dealers,  who  have  their  shov- 
ers  out  passing  the  money.  The  man  I  got  was  a  shover. 
I  locked  him  up  and  in  searching  him  I  found  the  name 
1  Tom  Hale,  New  York.'  I  reported  to  Crowley  and  sent 
a  telegram  addressed  to  Hale  and  reading : 

"  '  Come  on.  I  am  sick.  Stopping  at  Morton  House. 
Room  84.' 

"  I  made  all  arrangements  with  the  hotel  clerk  to  get 
track  of  any  one  who  called  and  asked  for  the  man  in 
room  84.  No  one  came.  I  kept  the  shover,  whose  name 
was  Soles,  locked  up  in  gaol.  Landers  and  the  bar- 
tender had  identified  him.  A  week  passed.  It  was  in 
the  winter  of  1870  and  the  trains  were  blockaded  and  it 
snowed  and  blew  and  delayed  all  traffic.  On  the  ninth 
day  a  nice  looking  man  walked  into  the  Morton  House. 
It  was  bitter  cold  and  yet  he  had  no  overcoat.  He  asked 
for  Mr.  Soles  in  room  84.  I  was  in  the  hotel  at  the  time ; 
the  clerk  tipped  me  and  I  walked  over  and  collared  the 
stranger.  I  took  him  down  and  searched  him  and  locked 
him  up.  He  had  several  hundred  dollars  of  good  money 
on  him,  but  no  counterfeit  money.  I  intended  to  hold 
him  while  I  hunted  for  his  baggage,  for  at  least  a  man 


THE  EPISODE  OF  POKE  SOLES  49 

dressed  as  he  was,  would  have  an  overcoat  somewhere 
near. 

"  The  next  morning  Officer  Snyder  and  I  went  to  the 
railroad  station  and  began,  from  there,  a  systematic 
search  for  trace  of  the  stranger's  overcoat.  In  the  morn- 
ing we  were  in  the  habit  of  stepping  into  John  Anthony's 
German  saloon  for  a  mug  of  beer.  On  that  morning 
Anthony  said :  '  A  funny  thing  happened  yesterday.  A 
nice  looking  fellow  came  in  and  washed  his  hands  and 
went  away  leaving  his  overcoat.' 

" '  Let  me  see  it,  John,'  said  I. 

"  Anthony  produced  the  coat.  In  the  first  pocket  in 
which  I  thrust  my  hand  I  found  a  roll  of  something 
wrapped  in  a  handkerchief.  I  drew  it  out  and  found 
$1,000  in  counterfeit  $20  and  $100  bills,  with  coupons 
attached  to  the  ends.  They  were  such  excellent  counter- 
feits that  later  I  passed  one  at  a  bank  as  a  joke  and  then 
told  them  of  it.     I  took  the  coat  to  the  lockup. 

" «  Hello,  Hale ;  here's  your  coat,'  I  said. 

"  '  All  right.  Thank  you,'  said  the  stranger,  who  was 
Tom  Hale. 

"  I  said  :  '  That's  your  coat,  Tom  ? ' 

"  '  Oh,  yes,'  said  he. 

"  Then  I  hauled  out  the  counterfeit  money  from  the 
pocket.  He  then  said  it  was  not  his  coat.  I  made  him 
put  the  coat  on  and  it  fitted  him  perfectly.  Then  John 
Anthony  identified  him  as  the  stranger  who  had  left  the 
coat  in  his  saloon. 

"  Soles  was  held  for  passing  counterfeit  money.  He 
pleaded  guilty  and  was  sent  to  Alleghany  for  five  years. 
The  United  States  authorities  took  Hale  to  Pittsburg,  then 
to  New  York,  and  then  to  Washington.  He  promised  to 
do  everything  for  the  Secret  Service  Department.  He 
was  going  to  give  away  the  whole  counterfeiting  business. 

"  Wood,  then  chief  of  the  Secret  Service,  appointed 
him  to  the  United  States  Secret  Service  and  sent  him  to 
New  York.  Hale  never  gave  any  one  away,  but  a  few 
shovers  and  small  Italians.  In  the  meantime,  Wood  left 
the  Service.     Colonel  Whiteley  became  chief.     He  sent 


50       MEMOIRS  OF  A  GREAT  DETECTIVE 

for  Hale  and  told  him  he  was  doing  nothing.  Hale  prac- 
tically told  Colonel  Whiteley  to  go  to  hell,  which  showed 
Hale  was  not  so  wise  as  some  people  seemed  to  think  he 
was. 

"  Finally  Hale  was  arrested  and  taken  back  to  Pitts- 
burg and  tried.  Butcher  Swope  was  the  United  States 
prosecuting  attorney.  Hale  was  convicted  and  sentenced 
to  fourteen  years  in  the  penitentiary.  It  was  proved 
where  he  stood  in  with  thieves.  Butcher  Swope  was  a 
cracking  good  prosecuting  attorney,  and  a  hard  man 
after  these  crooked  fellows. 

"  The  last  time  I  saw  Tom  Hale  was  about  1884.  He 
was  keeping  a  dime  lodging  house  on  the  Bowery  in 
New  York  at  that  time.  He  fared  far  worse  in  his  sen- 
tence than  did  Poke  Soles  who  stood  up  like  a  man  when 
he  was  caught  and  did  his  time.  I  understand  Hale 
never  set  foot  in  Erie  again  and  vowed  he  never  would. 
The  most  disappointed  man  was  John  Anthony,  when 
the  owner  of  the  overcoat  was  found  and  the  $1,000 
turned  out  to  be  queer." 


VIII 

HOW  A  FEUD  ALMOST  BURNED  ERIE 

A  feud  broke  out  in  the  Fire  Department  in  Erie  in 
1869.  Crowley,  Murray,  and  the  police  were  busy  on 
other  matters,  and  paid  no  attention  to  it  at  the  outset. 
It  began  with  a  contest  for  the  position  of  chief  of  the 
Fire  Department.  Before  the  struggle  was  over,  Erie 
was  threatened  with  destruction  by  fire,  and  the  under- 
writers refused  to  issue  insurance. 

"  There  were  two  bodies  of  the  City  Council,"  says 
Murray.  "  The  Common  Council  discharged  the  old  fire 
chief,  and  the  Select  Council  would  not  sanction  the  ap- 
pointment of  the  new  chief.  The  Fire  Department  also 
promptly  took  sides.     Part  of  it  stood  with  the  old  chief 


HOW  A  FEUD  ALMOST  BURNED  ERIE     51 

and  part  of  it  stood  with  the  new  chief.  Feeling  ran  high 
and  there  was  much  bitterness. 

"  When  the  fight  first  started,  various  fires  occurred. 
Old  houses  and  old  barns  in  out-of-the-way  places  caught 
fire  in  mysterious  ways,  and  the  rival  factions  in  the  De- 
partment were  kept  busy.  Each  endeavoured  to  get  to  a 
fire  first  and  thereby  obtain  an  opportunity  to  jeer  at  the 
other.  At  length  the  fires  began  to  get  rather  numerous. 
The  crop  of  old  houses  and  old  barns  became  pretty  well 
thinned  out.  All  the  rickety  buildings  in  Erie  went  up 
in  sparks  and  smoke.  Then  the  fires  seized  upon  build- 
ings a  grade  better  than  those  destroyed  in  the  first 
blazes.  Thousands  of  dollars'  worth  of  property  was 
damaged.  Property  owners  became  alarmed,  and  finally 
sent  for  outside  aid,  and  detectives  were  brought  to  Erie 
from  New  York  and  Chicago. 

"  Their  presence  quickly  became  known.  It  enraged 
the  firemen.  They  called  indignation  meetings  in  the 
Fire  Department,  and  arranged  to  put  themselves  on 
guard  against  them.  Then  the  fires  began  to  blaze  up  in 
bigger  buildings,  and,  despite  the  presence  of  the  outside 
detectives,  they  burned  factories.  At  length  the  under- 
writers refused  to  issue  insurance,  and  Erie  was  at  the 
mercy  of  the  Fire  Department  feud. 

"  They  were  so  devilish  sly  about  the  fires  that  it  was 
next  to  impossible  to  catch  them.  Neither  side  would 
agree  to  a  compromise  on  the  chiefship,  and  the  fires 
nightly  reddened  the  sky. 

"  One  night  there  was  a  fireman's  ball  at  Uncle  Sam's 
Garden.  I  was  there,  of  course,  and  so  were  other 
police.  I  was  full  of  hope  that  before  the  night  was  over, 
during  the  dancing  and  the  drinking,  I  might  get  some 
stray  hint  that  would  lead  to  evidence  sufficient  to  catch 
some  of  the  firebugs.  Finally  I  went  out  in  what  they 
called  the  wine  garden  and  lay  down  under  a  bench  and 
pretended  to  be  asleep.  Soon  two  firemen  came  out. 
The  bench  was  in  a  secluded  corner  of  the  garden.  If 
there  was  to  be  any  talking  done  that  night  it  would  be 
done  in  such  a  place.     They  came  over  to  the  bench. 

" '  Hello,'  said  one  of  them,  '  John  has  his  collar  full.' 


52       MEMOIRS  OF  A  GREAT  DETECTIVE 

" '  Let  him  sleep,'  said  the  other. 

"  They  whispered  a  moment  and  then  chuckled  softly. 
I  listened  intently  but  could  hear  nothing  save  their  sub- 
dued laughter.  Then  suddenly  I  was  sprinkled,  de- 
liberately and  thoroughly,  from  shoulders  to  shins,  and 
those  two  firemen  did  it  without  calling  the  engines. 
My  first  impulse  was  to  spring  up  and  wallop  them.  But 
the  damage  had  been  done,  so  I  sprawled  out  motionless 
and  took  it.  In  that  interval  I  vowed  ten  thousand  times 
that,  if  the  chance  ever  came,  I  would  get  even.  After 
tiring  of  the  sport  of  saturating  me,  they  sat  down  on 
the  bench. 

"  '  A  great  night  for  a  blaze,'  said  one. 

" '  Yes,'  said  the  other, '  and  there's  the  nigger's  barn 
on  Parade  Street.' 

"  They  were  confident  I  was  dead  to  the  world.  They 
talked  over  their  plot,  planning  to  slip  away  from  the 
dance.  I,  under  the  bench,  supposed  to  be  in  a  stupor, 
heard  all  that  was  said.  When  they  walked  away  I  got 
up,  shook  myself  and  called  my  partner,  who  was  in  the 
dance  hall. 

" '  What's  happened,  John  ? '  he  called,  as  he  caught 
sight  of  me.     '  Did  you  fall  into  the  creek  ?  ' 

"  '  No,'  said  I, '  the  Fire  Department  has  been  practising 
on  me.' 

"  Then  I  told  him  what  had  occurred  and  what  I  had 
heard  in  the  wine  garden.  I  knew  both  the  young  fel- 
lows and  they  came  of  respectable  families.  It  was  a 
dark  night,  black  as  soot.  We  knew  the  two  firemen 
had  started  for  their  fire-house  or  the  old  barn,  and  we 
took  a  short  cut  across  a  cemetery,  cutting  off  about  a 
mile.  On  the  way  we  lost  track  of  the  pair  of  firemen, 
but  we  knew  their  fire-house  and  we  knew  the  barn  and 
we  skipped  on  as  fast  as  we  could  go.  They  had  quite  a 
start  of  us,  but  we  got  to  the  fire-house  just  in  time  to  see 
one  of  them  come  out  with  a  can  of  oil  and  a  bunch  of 
shavings  wrapped  up  in  paper.  He  darted  over  to  the 
old  barn  on  Parade  Street.  I  followed.  He  set  the 
shavings  and  sprinkled  the  oil  over  them  and  touched  a 
match  and  away  she  went. 


HOW  A  FEUD  ALMOST  BURNED  ERIE     53 

"  The  fire-engine  was  there  in  a  jiffy.  In  fact,  the 
flames  hardly  seemed  to  have  begun  to  leap  when  the 
engine  arrived.  The  old  barn  burned  like  a  tinder-box, 
and  nothing  was  left  but  a  pile  of  ashes.  When  the 
engine  from  the  other  faction  in  the  department  came 
up,  there  was  a  lot  of  jeering  because  it  had  not  arrived 
first. 

"  After  the  fire  I  went  to  the  young  fellow.  I  knew 
him  well,  and  was  a  family  friend.  His  name  was  Ed, 
and  he  was  about  twenty  years  old. 

" '  Come  on,  Ed  ;  I  want  you,'  I  said. 

"  <  What  for  ?  '  said  he. 

" '  You  know/  said  I.     '  Come  on,  without  a  fuss.' 

" « I  thought  you  were  asleep,  John,  or  I'd  never  have 
disturbed  you,'  he  said. 

"  « It's  not  that,'  said  I. 

"  Then  I  told  him  what  I  had  heard  and  seen.  We 
walked  quite  a  distance.  He  sat  down  and  began  to  cry. 
I  advised  him  to  tell  me  the  whole  story.  He  did  so  ; 
telling  me  all  who  were  in  the  feud  and  all  about  it.  I 
told  him  to  go  home  to  bed  and  report  at  police  head- 
quarters at  nine  o'clock  in  the  morning.  He  did  so. 
Crowley  was  so  tickled  he  chuckled  off  and  on  for  a 
week.  Whether  it  was  at  my  getting  it  under  the  bench, 
or  my  getting  the  firebug  at  the  darky's  barn,  I  never 
could  tell. 

"  As  a  result  of  the  information  obtained,  we  arrested 
five  firebugs,  and  all  were  convicted  and  sent  to  the 
penitentiary. 

"  It  simply  was  a  rivalry  of  factions.  I  saw  a  young 
fellow,  who  set  fire  to  a  factory,  hang  on  the  eaves  on  a 
winter's  night  until  the  water  froze  to  an  ice-coating  on 
his  clothes,  putting  out  the  fire  he  had  set.  They  had  no 
desire  to  destroy  property.  What  they  wanted  was  an 
opportunity  to  gain  glory  for  their  faction  and  outdo  the 
rival  faction.  The  great  trouble  was  the  opportunities 
were  too  costly.  When  I  think,  even  at  this  late  day,  of 
what  the  eavesdropping  cost  me,  I  am  moved  to  retire 
to  a  Turkish  bath  and  sojourn  in  the  steam-room  for  a 
fortnight,  at  least.     Yet  a  fortnight  in  a  Turkish  bath  is 


54       MEMOIRS  OF  A  GREAT  DETECTIVE 

better  than  a  year  in  the  penitentiary,  and  he  laughs  best 
who  laughs  last." 


IX 

TWO  SCARS,  BY  THE  BLADE  OF  NAPPER  NICHOLS 
AND  THE  BULLET  OF  WHITEY  STOKES 

Napper  Nichols,  a  bad  coon  from  Corry,  Pa.,  turned 
up  in  Erie,  in  1873,  and  close  on  his  arrival  clicked  a 
dispatch  stating  he  was  wanted  for  robbery.  No  one 
knew  his  right  name,  but  as  Napper  Nichols  he  was 
known  in  Erie  and  many  other  towns. 

"  Napper  had  stolen  the  trunk  of  a  Mrs.  Kelly,  a  cook 
in  an  hotel  at  Corry,"  says  Murray.  "  He  had  not  been 
out  of  the  penitentiary  long.  I  was  acting  chief,  and  I 
nabbed  Nichols  on  the  street.  He  was  a  stout  darky,  as 
broad  as  he  was  long,  with  an  arm  on  him  like  a  horse's 
leg.  He  was  a  bad  nigger  in  the  worst  sense.  He 
started  to  buck  when  I  nabbed  him,  but  promptly 
changed  his  mind  and  said  he  would  go  with  me. 

"  I  took  him  before  Judge  Phil  Honiger.  I  stated  to 
Judge  Honiger  what  Nichols  was  accused  of  stealing,  and 
I  was  reciting  the  coon's  penitentiary  record,  preparatory 
to  searching  him  and  locking  him  up,  for  I  knew  the 
judge  would  remand  him.  Suddenly  the  coon  whipped 
out  a  razor  and  slashed  at  me.  I  saw  it  coming  and 
dodged.  The  blade  caught  me  on  the  left  shoulder. 
The  coon  had  aimed  for  my  throat,  but  missed  it  by 
three  inches.  The  slash  cut  away  the  collar  of  my  coat, 
and  cut  through  the  shirt  and  into  the  flesh. 

"  I  closed  with  him.  Over  we  went  on  to  the  floor, 
over  and  over,  I  with  one  hand  at  his  throat,  closing  on 
it  with  every  ounce  of  strength  in  my  grip,  while  my 
other  hand  clutched  his  hand  that  held  the  razor.  He 
began  to  bellow  and  snort  like  a  bull,  striving  to  wield 
the  razor  and  sink  it  into  me. 

"  A    handsome,  heavy  cane   had   been   presented    to 


TWO  SCARS  55 

Judge  Honiger  by  some  of  his  many  admiring  friends. 
When  he  saw  us  grapple,  with  the  razor  flashing,  he 
seized  the  cane  and  vaulted  over  the  desk  and  down  to 
where  we  were  struggling  and  pitching  and  tossing  on 
the  floor.  I  saw  the  cane  whirl  overhead,  and  I  heard 
the  smash  as  it  sent  the  razor  flying  out  of  the  coon's 
hand.  Then  the  judge,  dancing  around  us,  planted 
crack  after  crack  upon  the  coon's  head.  We  tossed  so 
much  that  some  of  the  wallops  landed  on  me.  My  hand- 
cuffs fell  out  of  my  pocket,  and  as  we  rolled  near  them  I 
grabbed  them  and  snapped  them  first  on  one  wrist,  and, 
after  a  long  fight,  on  the  other  also. 

"  Nichols  was  a  desperate  nigger.  He  lifted  up  his 
cuffed  hands  and  brought  them  down  like  a  pile-driver, 
aiming  at  my  head.  I  simply  had  to  roll  out  of  the  way. 
But  as  I  rolled  I  pulled  a  billy.  The  momentum  of  the 
coon's  attempt  to  smash  the  handcuffs  on  my  head  carried 
him  forward,  and  I  put  the  billy  in.  It  was  like  beating 
a  railroad  tie,  but  I  did  a  good  job  for  the  doctors. 

"  When  Nichols  had  his  fill  of  the  billy,  I  took  him 
right  over  from  the  police  court  to  the  court-house.  He 
was  indicted  within  two  hours,  was  tried  within  three 
hours  more,  and  at  half-past  five  o'clock  that  same  day  he 
was  sentenced  to  seven  years  in  the  penitentiary,  while  I 
went  out  and  got  another  collar  and  a  change  of  clothes. 

"  About  six  months  later,  Whitey  Stokes,  a  burglar 
and  all-round  bad  man,  who  had  been  released  from  the 
penitentiary,  committed  a  robbery,  and  I  had  a  warrant 
for  him.  I  was  passing  Lou  Shoemaker's  saloon  about 
twelve  o'clock  at  night,  and  stepped  in.  It  was  a  big 
place  under  a  bank,  with  two  doors  leading  into  it. 

" '  You .     You're  just   in   time   to   have  a 

drink,'  said  a  voice  behind  me. 

"  I  turned.  There  stood  Stokes,  a  strapping,  big  fel- 
low, with  a  revolver  not  three  feet  from  my  chest.  As 
he  fired  I  grabbed  the  revolver.  The  bullet  bit  its  way 
through  my  hand.  I  bear  the  scar  still :  on  my  right 
hand,  between  the  first  and  second  fingers.  As  the  gun 
went  off  we  went  to  the  floor  together,  and  around  we 
tossed  like  a  chicken  with  its  head  off,  flopping  this  way 


56       MEMOIRS  OF  A  GREAT  DETECTIVE 

and  that.  Shoemaker  ran  outside  for  the  police,  instead 
of  coming  to  take  the  gun.  I  stuck  to  the  gun  with  my 
right  hand,  wrenched  it  from  Stokes's  grasp,  and  threw  it 
across  the  room.  I  felt  something  tugging  at  my  hip 
pocket.     It  was  Stokes  reaching  for  my  gun. 

"  A  foot-rail  ran  along  the  front  of  the  bar,  several 
inches  from  the  floor.  I  managed  to  slide  Stokes  along 
the  floor  until  I  got  his  head  near  this  iron  rail,  and  I 
jammed  it  under.  He  had  been  snapping  and  snarling 
at  me  like  a  mad  dog,  trying  to  sink  his  teeth  in  me. 
Once  I  got  his  head  under  the  rail  I  drew  my  own  re- 
volver, and  used  its  butt  so  that  Mr.  Whitey  Stokes  was 
not  fit  to  be  photographed  for  a  month.  They  carried 
him  to  the  lock-up.  I  went  with  them  to  see  him  safe 
inside. 

"  On  my  way  home,  about  one  o'clock  in  the  morning, 
I  met  Dr.  Spenser,  who  dressed  my  hand.  Two  hours 
after  I  went  to  bed  it  began  to  swell.  Blood-poisoning 
had  set  in.  My  hand  was  as  big  as  a  boxing-glove. 
They  wanted  to  take  it  off,  but  I  refused.  I  needed  the 
hand  in  my  business.  They  prepared  a  bowl  of  diluted 
laudanum,  and  I  used  to  soak  the  hand  in  it  until  I  was 
almost  stupefied.  Dr.  Brandes  saved  the  hand  for  me, 
although  for  three  months  I  carried  it  in  a  sling. 

"  The  hand  is  as  good  as  ever ;  but  on  cold  days  my 
second  finger  gets  numb,  and  the  scar  gets  red  as  scarlet. 
However,  if  the  scars  of  that  struggle  turn  scarlet  in  the 
cold,  Whitey  Stokes,  wherever  he  may  be,  goes  through 
each  winter  with  a  countenance  crimson  from  forehead  to 
chin,  not  forgetting  behind  the  ears." 


A  KING,  A  LUNATIC,  AND  A  BURGLAR— THREE 
IN   ONE,  AND  NONE  AT  ALL 

Murray  had  his  full  share  of  exciting  experiences  dur- 
ing his  service  in  Erie.  One  episode  in  particular  he 
laughs  over,  for  in  it  he  was  mistaken  for  a  king,  a  luna- 
tic, and  a  burglar,  all  in  a  single  night. 


A  KING,  A  LUNATIC  AND  A  BURGLAR     57 

"  In  November,  1872,  a  Miss  Julia  Oliver,  sister  of  a 
prominent  man  in  Erie,  became  demented,"  says  Murray. 
"  Her  family  were  English  people.  She  imagined  they 
had  large  estates  in  England,  and  one  of  her  delusions 
was  that  her  brother  was  trying  to  beat  her  out  of  them. 
At  times  she  had  brief  lucid  intervals,  but  gradually  she 
became  worse,  and  they  decided  to  send  her  to  the  Dix- 
mont  Asylum,  up  on  the  mountain  near  Pittsburg.  I  was 
acquainted  with  her,  and  her  family,  and  they  suggested 
that  I  would  be  the  proper  person  to  take  her  to  the 
asylum.  All  the  plans  were  made.  We  intended  to  start 
in  the  morning,  but  she  locked  and  barred  her  bedroom 
door  and  windows,  and  we  could  not  get  into  the  room 
until  after  the  morning  train  had  gone.  Fearing  to  have 
her  at  home  another  night,  lest  she  should  do  some  overt 
act  or  kill  herself,  the  family  decided  I  should  take  her  on 
the  afternoon  train.  It  was  an  hour  or  two  late.  Miss 
Oliver  and  I  arrived  at  the  small  asylum  station  long  after 
dark.  I  remember  it  was  a  bright,  cold,  moonlit  night  in 
the  latter  part  of  November.  The  train  steamed  away, 
leaving  this  crazy  woman  and  myself  alone  on  the  plat- 
form of  the  little  station.  There  was  not  a  soul  around, 
no  agent,  no  one  from  the  asylum,  not  even  a  station 
lounger.  It  was  as  deserted  as  the  North  Pole,  and  al- 
most as  cold.  The  asylum  was  a  mile  or  so  up  on  the 
mountain  from  the  station.  There  was  a  terraced  walk 
for  a  part  of  the  distance.  The  wind  was  howling,  and 
everything  was  frozen  tight.  I  looked  far  up  the  moun- 
tain, where  I  could  see  the  asylum  lights  shining  out  in 
the  night.     The  crazy  woman  passively  waited. 

"  '  Come,  Miss  Oliver,'  said  I.  '  We  will  have  to  walk. 
I  am  very  sorry,  but  there  is  no  other  way.' 

"  She  looked  at  me  with  big,  innocent,  reproachful 
eyes.  She  had  a  very  sweet,  childlike  voice.  She  made 
no  move. 

"  '  I  know  you  are  going  to  kill  me,'  she  said  so  sor- 
rowfully, and  with  such  sweet  simplicity  and  directness, 
that  I  started  guiltily  at  the  very  candour  of  the  accusa- 
tion. «  Do  kill  me  here,'  she  continued.  '  Do  not  kill 
me  on  the  mountainside,  and  let  me  roll  down  the  hill. 


58       MEMOIRS  OF  A  GREAT  DETECTIVE 

The  one  thing  I  dread  after  death  is  to  have  to  roll  down 
long  hills.' 

"  There  was  no  use  to  argue.  She  was  insane.  Yet 
she  was  so  self-possessed,  so  gentle  a  lady,  so  frank,  that 
if  I  had  not  known  positively  she  was  crazy,  I  would 
have  believed  her  as  sane  as  any  other  person  I  knew. 

" '  If  you  will  not  walk  with  me  I  must  carry  you,'  I 
said. 

" '  I  weigh  over  one  hundred  and  forty  pounds,'  she 
said  solemnly.  '  I  will  not  resist,  although  I  prefer  to  be 
killed  here  rather  than  on  the  mountainside.  Please  kill 
me  here.' 

"  No  one  likes  to  be  regarded  seriously  as  a  murderer, 
even  by  insane  folk.  So,  without  further  ado,  I  picked 
up  Miss  Oliver  in  my  arms  and  started  up  the  mountain. 
She  certainly  had  stated  her  minimum  weight !  She  lay 
in  my  arms  like  a  sack  of  salt.  The  wind  raged  about 
us.  Step  by  step  I  made  my  way  up  the  mountain, 
heading  for  the  lights  of  Dixmont.  Despite  the  bitter 
cold  I  sat  her  down  and  threw  off  my  overcoat,  then 
picked  her  up  and  laboured  on.  It  was  weary,  toilsome 
work.  I  stumbled  and  staggered,  but  ever  nearer  shone 
the  lights.     The  insane  girl  begged  piteously  to  be  killed. 

"  '  Kill  me ;  why  don't  you  kill  me  ? '  she  kept  crying. 
"  Oh,  think  how  far  I  must  roll  after  I  am  killed  ! ' 

"  It  was  useless  to  be  angry.  I  trudged  on.  Then 
she  began  to  resist.  She  kicked  and  screamed  and 
clawed.  I  was  compelled  to  put  her  down  and  sit  on 
her  while  I  threw  off  my  undercoat.  Then  up  the 
mountain  we  went,  in  a  perambulating  wrestling  match. 
She  fought  valiantly.  Once  she  tripped  me,  and  we 
rolled  far  down  the  path  before  I  could  stop.  She 
shrieked  with  delight  as  we  rolled.  Then  slowly,  labori- 
ously I  worked  our  way  back  over  the  lost  ground.  All 
the  asylum  lights  went  out  while  we  were  on  our  way, 
except  the  few  that  burned  all  night.  Finally  I  got  her 
up  to  the  door  and  rang  the  bell.  As  I  rang,  she 
wrenched  away.  I  grabbed  her,  and  she  began  to  shriek 
so  piercingly  that  it  seemed  as  if  her  family  away  back 
in  Erie  must  hear  it.     We  were  in  a  tangle  on  the  ground 


A  KING,  A  LUNATIC  AND  A  BURGLAR     59 

when  the  door  opened,  and  a  flood  of  light  poured  out 
on  us. 

"  There  I  stood — hatless,  coatless,  dishevelled,  wet — 
with  a  wild  woman  wailing  piteously,  struggling,  and 
crying  to  be  freed  from  a  monster.  They  well  might 
have  wondered  which  of  us  was  insane.  I  carried  her 
inside,  and  the  doors  were  closed.  I  knew  Dr.  Reed,  the 
Superintendent,  but  he  was  away.  They  roused  the  as- 
sistant superintendent  out  of  bed.  He  was  none  too 
pleased  at  being  disturbed.  I  had  my  commitment 
papers  in  my  shirt,  and  I  drew  them  forth.  They  were 
as  wet  as  if  they  had  fallen  into  a  basin  of  water.  Miss 
Oliver  was  a  pay  patient,  of  course,  and  her  bed  was 
ready.  She  looked  serenely  around  the  reception  room, 
noting  the  paintings  and  the  furnishings. 

"  '  What  do  you  think  of  my  castle,  King  George  ? ' 
she  said  to  me.  '  Is  it  not  beautiful,  your  majesty  ? 
Pray  make  yourself  at  home,  your  majesty.' 

"  There  never  was  a  King  George  who  looked  as  I 
looked  just  then.  Small  wonder  a  nurse  sniggered. 
They  took  Miss  Oliver  to  her  quarters,  and  I  returned  to 
the  office.  I  could  hear  the  wind  whistling  around  the 
corners  outside.  I  asked  if  I  could  stay  all  night.  They 
said  no,  it  was  against  the  rules. 

"  '  If  Dr.  Reed  was  here  I  could  stay  all  night/  I  re- 
torted. 

" «  Dr.  Reed  is  not  here,'  was  the  icy  reply,  matching 
the  zero  weather  outdoors. 

"  They  showed  me  the  door.  I  went  out,  hatless, 
coatless,  into  the  night.  I  stumbled  down  the  mountain, 
and  hunted  for  my  undercoat.  I  found  it,  and  then 
found  my  overcoat.  But  my  hat  was  nowhere  around. 
The  wind  must  have  blown  it  away.  I  made  my  way 
down  to  the  station.  I  was  getting  cold,  and  my  damp 
clothes  were  stiffening  on  me.  I  tried  to  find  warmth  or 
shelter  at  the  station,  but  there  was  none.  I  shivered 
and  stamped  to  and  fro,  endeavouring  to  keep  warm. 
There  was  no  hotel  around,  none  within  a  couple  of 
miles.  The  only  house  near  was  a  gashouse,  where  they 
made  gas  for  the  asylum.     It  was  across  from  the  sta- 


6o       MEMOIRS  OF  A  GREAT  DETECTIVE 

tion.  I  saw  a  light  in  it,  and  I  went  over  and  stepped 
in.  A  lone  man  was  sitting  by  the  fire,  watching  the 
drafts.  He  turned  as  the  door  slammed,  and  seeing  me 
hatless,  with  scratched  face,  he  groaned  and  jumped  over 
to  the  other  side  of  the  room. 

" '  Get  out !  get  out ! '  he  shouted,  waving  his  arms. 
'  You  cannot  stop  here  !     Get  out ;  I'm  closing  up  now  ! ' 

"  '  You  poor  fool,'  said  I.  '  I  want  to  get  warm,  that's 
all.     Nobody  will  hurt  you.     Sit  down.' 

"  '  Go  back  to  the  asylum  if  you  want  to  get  warm  ! ' 
he  yelled,  as  if  I  were  a  deaf  lunatic.  '  I  don't  warm 
crazy  men  here.' 

"  The  fellow  was  beside  himself  with  terror.  He 
thought  I  was  an  escaped  madman  from  Dixmont,  and  I 
did  not  blame  him.  I  certainly  must  have  looked  the 
part.     Suddenly  his  manner  changed. 

" '  If  you're  really  cold,  my  friend,  I'll  show  you  the 
new  tavern  that  has  been  built  right  down  the  road/ 
said  he. 

"  I  thanked  him  heartily.  He  put  on  his  hat  and  over- 
coat, and  we  started  out  of  the  door.  As  I  stepped  out- 
side he  slammed  the  heavy  door  behind  me,  and  locked 
it  from  within.  It  simply  was  a  ruse  to  get  me  out.  I 
saw  it  was  useless  to  try  to  get  into  the  gashouse  again, 
so  I  started  on  a  brisk  walk  down  the  road,  looking  for  a 
tavern  or  boarding-house,  or  place  of  shelter  for  a  half- 
frozen  man.  I  walked  over  two  miles  before  I  came  to 
what  appeared  to  be  a  boarding-house.  I  banged  on  the 
door.  There  was  no  answer.  I  shook  the  door  by  its 
handle.  Suddenly  an  up-stairs  window  was  raised,  and 
a  hoarse  voice  shouted :  '  Who's  there  ?  '  I  answered 
that  I  was  an  officer  who  had  come  from  the  asylum  and 
desired  a  bed  for  the  night. 

"  '  Get  out  of  there  ! '  roared  the  voice. 

" '  Come  down  and  open  this  door  ! '  I  shouted  in  reply. 

"  The  answer  was  the  bang  of  a  shotgun,  and  a  charge 
of  buckshot  bored  into  the  woodwork  about  a  yard  from 
where  I  stood.  I  scooted  around  the  corner  of  the  house 
as  the  second  barrel  followed  the  first.  I  crawled  along 
behind  fences  until  I  struck  a  bend  in  the  road,  and  then 


A  KING,  A  LUNATIC  AND  A  BURGLAR    61 

crossed  to  the  railroad  track,  and  started  on  a  fast  walk 
back  towards  the  gashouse.  On  my  way  I  met  the  gas- 
man. When  he  saw  me  he  let  out  a  shriek  of  terror  and 
fled  across  the  fields.  I  walked  fully  three  miles,  past 
the  gashouse,  which  was  locked,  before  I  came  to  a  tavern. 
Profiting  by  my  former  experience  I  knocked,  and  when 
I  heard  a  window  raised  up-stairs  I  got  around  to  the 
other  side  of  the  house. 

Vat  you  vant  ? '  asked  a  heavy  German  voice. 
I  want  to  get  in/  said  I. 
Go  away  ! '  said  the  voice. 

" '  I  want  to  get  in  ! '  I  shouted. 
Bang !  bang !  went  a  gun.  But  I  was  around  the 
corner  of  the  house.  I  waited  a  few  minutes,  then 
thumped  again  on  the  door.  Three  times  I  thumped, 
and  every  time  the  old  German  roared.  Finally  I  crossed 
the  road  and  got  behind  a  tree. 

"  '  Hello,  there  ! '  I  shouted.  «  You'll  kill  some  one  if 
you  don't  stop.' 

"  '  Veil,  vat  you  tink  I  am  shootin'  for,  eh  ?  ' 

"  I  began  a  long  palaver  with  him. 

"  '  I  want  to  get  a  bed  for  the  night,'  I  said  in  conclu- 
sion. 

" '  So  ?     Why  ain't  you  say  so  first  ?  '  said  he. 

"  I  could  hear  him  talking  to  his  wife.  They  went 
away  from  the  window.  I  waited  fifteen  minutes,  and 
kicked  again  on  the  door.  Presently  a  light  appeared  in 
the  hall.  Through  the  glass  alongside  the  old-fashioned 
door  I  could  see  them  coming  down  the  stairs.  The 
wife  was  ahead  carrying  a  lighted  candle.  The  husband 
was  behind  carrying  the  shotgun. 

"  •  Hello,  out  there ! '  he  shouted,  as  they  neared  the 
door. 

" '  Hello  ! '  I  answered. 

"  '  Who  are  you  ?  '  he  asked. 

"  I  told  him. 

" '  How  do  I  know  you  are  who  you  say  you  are  ?  '  he 
demanded. 

"  I  recited  a  long  list  of  people  I  knew. 

" '  How  do  I  know  you  know  them  ?  '  he  asked. 


62       MEMOIRS  OF  A  GREAT  DETECTIVE 

" I  pondered.  The  only  way  to  convince  him  was  to 
hit  upon  some  man  he  would  be  sure  to  know  well.  I 
saw  a  whiskey  sign  by  the  door. 

" '  Do  you  know  Fred  Applebaum,  of  Pittsburg,  the 
singer  and  whiskey  man  ?  '  said  I. 

"  '  Freddie  Applebaum  ?  Do  I  know  him  ?  '  he  said, 
and  I  could  hear  the  bolt  shot  back. 

"  I  fairly  leaped  inside.  The  old  German  kept  point- 
ing the  shotgun  at  me.  He  said  there  had  been  many 
burglaries  in  the  vicinity,  some  of  the  robberies  having 
been  committed  by  men  who  called  late  at  night  and  said 
they  wanted  lodgings.  His  wife  brought  me  whiskey,  and 
I  took  a  big  drink.  The  old  German  meanwhile  held 
the  shotgun  full  upon  me.  I  sat  close  to  the  fire,  and 
after  thawing  out  I  went  to  bed.  The  old  German  fol- 
lowed me  with  the  shotgun  and  a  candle.  He  sat  down 
in  a  corner  of  the  room  with  the  candle  on  the  window 
sill  and  the  shotgun  pointed  at  the  bed.  I  fell  asleep. 
It  was  daylight  when  I  awoke.  There  sat  the  old  Ger- 
man sound  asleep  in  his  chair,  with  the  shotgun  across 
his  knees  and  the  candle  down  in  the  socket.  I  coughed, 
and  he  awoke  with  a  snort.  When  I  came  to  pay  my 
bill  he  said, '  Fifty  cents  for  bed,  fifty  cents  for  breakfast, 
and  fifty  cents  for  extra.' 

" «  What's  the  extra  for  ?  '  I  asked. 

" «  For  keeping  watch  on  you,'  said  he.  «  How  do  I 
know  you  ain't  a  burglar  ?  ' 

" '  Would  you  take  in  a  burglar  ?  '  said  I. 

"  '  If  he  was  half  froze,'  said  he. 

"  I  took  the  first  train  for  Erie,  after  buying  a  hat  in 
Pittsburg,  and  patching  my  scratched  face  with  court 
plaster.  It  was  the  only  night  of  my  life  in  which  I  had 
been  invited  to  a  palace  as  a  king,  locked  out  of  a  gas- 
house  as  a  lunatic,  shot  at  as  a  burglar,  and  put  to  bed 
with  a  shotgun  pointed  at  my  head." 


THE  BOX-CAR  BATTLE  OF  SWEETMAN     63 

XI 

THE  BOX-CAR  BATTLE  OF  SWEETMAN,  AND  THE 
THRASHERS  WITH  THE  WHEAT 

In  addition  to  his  regular  work  on  the  Erie  police  force 
Murray  was  gradually  drawn  into  the  service  of  the  men 
at  the  head  of  the  Pennsylvania  Central  Railroad.  His 
success  in  the  cases  he  undertook  attracted  their  atten- 
tion to  such  a  degree  that  they  finally  urged  him  to 
sever  his  connection  with  the  Erie  Police  and  devote 
himself  exclusively  to  railroad  detective  work.  William 
L.  Scott,  the  railroad  magnate,  whose  home  was  in  Erie, 
and  for  whom  Murray  had  done  considerable  difficult 
railroad  detective  work,  was  particularly  desirous  of  ob- 
taining Murray's  undivided  services. 

Mr.  Scott,  Milton  Cartwright,  who  built  the  Dismal 
Swamp  canal,  and  was  interested  in  the  building  of  the 
Elevated  Railway  system  in  New  York,  James  Casey, 
George  Ham  of  Boston,  and  others,  united  in  the  build- 
ing of  the  Canada  Southern  Railroad,  now  the  Michigan 
Central,  between  Buffalo  and  Detroit,  with  its  route  in 
Canada  from  Fort  Erie,  opposite  Buffalo,  through  St. 
Thomas  to  Windsor,  opposite  Detroit.  They  had  diffi- 
culties in  Canada.  Station  houses  were  burned.  Trains 
were  derailed.  Bridges  were  fired.  The  trouble  primar- 
ily grew  out  of  the  right  of  way.  Some  of  the  country 
folk  seemed  to  think  the  railroad  should  make  them  all 
rich.  The  officers  of  the  company  knew  Murray,  and 
they  held  a  conference  and  urged  him  to  leave  Erie  and 
straighten  matters  out  in  the  Canada  Southern's  troubles. 
Their  offer  to  Murray  was  so  flattering  that  he  agreed  to 
go  for  three  months,  with  the  right  to  return  at  the  end 
of  that  time  if  he  did  not  find  matters  satisfactory. 

In  May,  1873,  Murray  left  Erie  and  went  to  Canada  as 
head  of  detectives  of  the  Canada  Southern  Railroad  of 
which  William  L.  Scott  was  president  and  F.  N.  Finney 
was  general  superintendent.  He  established  headquar- 
ters in  St.  Thomas  and  travelled  between  Buffalo  and 
Detroit,  and  frequently  Chicago. 


64       MEMOIRS  OF  A  GREAT  DETECTIVE 

"  The  bridge-burning  stopped  first,"  says  Murray.  "  I 
began  a  systematic  watch  of  the  bridge  that  was  the 
scene  of  the  most  trouble.  Night  after  night  I  lay  in  a 
clump  of  brush  by  the  railroad  track.  They  were  hard 
to  catch,  but  eventually  the  bridge-burning  stopped, 
along  with  the  firing  of  stations,  for  I  gave  chase  in 
earnest  and  caught  some  of  the  incendiaries  and  they 
were  sent  to  the  penitentiary. 

"  Soon  after  the  bridge-burning  was  broken  up,  L.  D. 
Rucker,  of  the  Canada  Southern,  called  my  attention  to 
complaints  of  wholesale  robbery  of  cars.  Goods  con- 
signed from  Boston  and  New  York  to  the  west  were 
found  to  be  missing  on  the  arrival  of  the  cars  at  their 
destination.  The  various  roads  over  which  the  cars 
passed  had  to  pay  pro  rata  the  loss  to  the  shippers." 

The  selection  of  Murray  to  run  down  this  wholesale 
train  robbing,  affecting  various  railroads,  indicates  the 
reputation  he  had  earned  at  that  time  as  a  clever  detect- 
ive.    It  was  a  hard  case. 

"  I  went  to  Boston  and  started  over  the  route  of  the 
goods,"  says  Murray.  "  I  saw  the  cars  go  through  un- 
broken to  Black  Rock  at  Buffalo,  where  customs  officers 
and  sealers  inspected  and  resealed  the  cars,  after  which 
they  went  on  west  through  Canada.  After  following  the 
route  of  goods  several  times  I  became  convinced  that  the 
robberies  were  perpetrated  at  Black  Rock,  and  that  car 
sealers  and  railroad  employees  were  in  collusion.  They, 
alone,  could  have  the  necessary  knowledge  or  oppor- 
tunity. 

"  Mose  Mills  was  Customs  Officer  at  the  International 
Bridge  at  that  time.  I  put  up  a  job  with  Mills.  We 
made  a  fake  manifest  showing  boots,  shoes,  silks,  and 
clothing,  making  a  fat  car.  We  gave  the  number  of  the 
car  and  sent  the  manifest  out  as  usual,  and  then  had  the 
car  placed  at  the  old  Bathurst  Street  yards  at  Black 
Rock.  I  got  Police  Captain  Dixon,  of  old  No.  5  station 
in  Buffalo,  and  two  of  his  men,  Joe  Henderson  and  Andy 
Dayton,  a  brother  of  Mayor  Dayton.  A  fence  ran  along 
by  the  tracks.     We  got  outside  the  fence  and  lay  in  wait. 

"  I  remember  the  night  well.     It  was  the  night  of  July 


THE  BOX-CAR  BATTLE  OF  SWEETMAN     65 

1 2th,  1874.  It  was  blazing  hot,  breezeless,  suffocating. 
We  crouched  alongside  the  fence  for  several  hours. 
About  1.30  o'clock  in  the  morning  we  saw  two  lanterns 
dodging  in  and  out  among  the  trucks.  Three  fellows 
slipped  along  silently,  looking  for  the  car  numbered  in 
the  fake  manifest. 

" '  Here  it  is/  said  one  of  them. 

"  They  broke  the  seal,  slid  the  door,  climbed  in  and 
began  to  open  the  boxes.  When  they  were  well  along 
with  their  work  we  made  a  break  for  the  car.  Two  of 
the  three  ran,  with  Dixon,  Henderson,  and  Dayton  after 
them.  I  grabbed  the  third  fellow,  a  powerful  gaint  in  a 
cotton  shirt  and  overalls.  We  grappled  in  the  car  and 
fell  among  the  boxes.  It  was  stifling  hot  in  the  box  car 
and  the  water  began  to  pour  off  us.  Neither  spoke  a 
word.  It  was  a  silent  struggle  in  the  darkness.  I  recog- 
nised the  fellow  as  one  of  our  road's  employees  named 
Sweetman,  counted  one  of  the  huskiest  men  in  the  busi- 
ness. He  tried  to  strangle  me  to  death,  tried  it  so  de- 
liberately I  had  to  admire  his  coolness.  I  broke  his  hold 
and,  when  he  tried  to  jam  me  behind  the  boxes  where  he 
could  shove  a  big  packing  case  on  me  and  crush  me,  I 
forced  him  over  by  the  car  door.  There  we  heaved  and 
strained  amid  the  big  boxes. 

"  I  had  stripped  him  naked  in  the  first  grapples  of  the 
fight.  His  cotton  shirt  and  overalls  had  come  off  like 
the  peeling  of  a  banana.  In  his  fury  he  tore  my  clothes 
off  me  and  as  we  lurched  towards  the  car  door  we  fell 
out  to  the  track  below,  two  naked  men,  drenched  with 
perspiration  as  if  a  tub  of  water  had  been  emptied  on  us. 
We  fell  in  a  bunch  and  over  we  went  on  to  the  cinders 
and  ballast  and  ties.  There  was  no  let  up.  Whichever 
man  got  the  chance  banged  the  other's  head  on  the  rails, 
jammed  his  face  in  the  cinders  or  thumped  his  bare  body 
on  the  ballast  and  ties.  A  free  hand  meant  a  stunning 
blow.  We  fought  under  the  car  and  out  on  to  the  other 
tracks.  All  the  while  we  were  silent  as  two  mutes.  It 
was  a  case  of  which  or  t'other  on  top.  He  was  worrying 
me.  I  was  busy  as  I  could  be  and  I  could  not  yell,  and 
my  gun  was  gone. 


66       MEMOIRS  OF  A  GREAT  DETECTIVE 

"  We  came  to  a  full  stop  on  the  track  between  the  rails 
beyond  the  car  where  our  fight  began.  Neither  of  us 
was  on  top.  We  were  a  tangled  bunch.  As  we  lay 
straining,  gasping,  we  heard  a  creaking  and  crunching. 
Instinctively  both  of  us  looked  down  the  track.  An 
engine  had  backed  some  cars  in  and  they  were  bearing 
slowly,  steadily  down  upon  us.  Sweetman  was  a  game 
man,  he  never  flinched.  '  You  first ! '  he  gasped,  as  he 
strove  to  roll  me  nearest  the  approaching  cars.  My 
answer  was  a  heave  that  turned  him  prone  between  the 
rails  and  there  I  held  him,  panting  and  desperate,  not 
daring  to  relax  my  hold.  Nearer  and  nearer  came  the 
cars.  We  could  hear  the  grind  of  the  flange.  Sweet- 
man  writhed  and  strove  to  drag  me  down  and  force  me 
over. 

" '  Give  up  ? '  I  gasped. 

"  Sweetman  shook  his  head  and  butted  me  full  be- 
tween the  eyes.  Together  we  reeled  back  on  the  track. 
The  trucks  of  the  nearest  car  were  not  thirty  feet  away, 
when  Joe  Henderson  came  running  down  the  track,  from 
the  chase  after  the  other  two  men,  and  dragged  us  back 
and  snapped  the  handcuffs  on  Sweetman.  Henderson 
had  captured  his  man  and  the  third  escaped.  I  was 
somewhat  disfigured  and  had  to  borrow  some  clothes, 
but  I  was  mightily  relieved  when  I  saw  the  grim  trucks 
of  the  freight  cars  go  by  and  felt  my  bones  safe  beyond 
their  reach.  Sweetman  was  a  partner  of  Slip  Lewis. 
He  was  locked  up,  and  later  his  attorney  made  a  fight 
on  some  technicality. 

"  But  this  stopped  the  car  burglaries.  The  railroads 
thanked  me,  and  thereafter  goods  went  west  and  arrived 
at  their  destination  unmolested." 

When  Murray  returned  to  St.  Thomas,  after  breaking 
up  the  car  burglaries,  he  found  complaints  of  train-tap- 
ping and  quickly  located  it  at  the  west  end  of  the  road 
in  the  vicinity  of  Amherstburg,  on  the  Canadian  side  of 
the  mouth  of  the  Detroit  River.  Cars  laden  with  grain 
would  lose  bushels  in  transit,  in  some  unknown  way. 
The  cars  were  weighed  at  Detroit  to  make  sure  of  their 
cargo  and  when  weighed  later  by  the  railroad  they  were 


THE  BOX-CAR  BATTLE  OF  SWEETMAN     67 

many  bushels  lighter.  Murray  by  a  plan  of  frequent 
weighing  of  the  cars,  narrowed  the  territory,  where  the 
thefts  were  committed,  to  the  vicinity  of  Amherstburg. 

"  The  method  employed  by  the  train  tappers,"  says 
Murray,  "  was  to  crawl  under  a  grain  car  at  night,  bore 
holes  in  the  floor  of  the  car  with  an  auger,  fill  as  many 
bags  with  grain  as  they  could  cart  away,  and  then  plug 
up  the  auger  holes,  and  the  car  would  bear  no  visible 
outward  sign  of  having  been  robbed.  Hundreds  of 
bushels  of  grain  would  be  stolen  in  this  way.  One 
night  a  single  train  was  rifled  of  enough  grain  to  make 
two  waggon  loads  of  filled  bags.  The  quantity  stolen 
in  such  a  short  time  satisfied  me  that  a  gang  of  six  or 
seven  did  the  job,  and  that  it  was  not  the  work  of  only 
one  or  two.  So  I  nosed  around  looking  for  sixes  or 
sevens  who  would  be  apt  to  engage  in  train-tapping.  I 
was  puzzled  to  learn  what  became  of  the  grain,  if  the 
thieves  were  people  in  the  vicinity,  for  I  could  find  no 
trace  of  any  sales  of  grain  apart  from  the  usual  barter  in 
crops  by  farmers. 

"  I  arranged  for  a  string  of  grain  cars  to  be  laid  out 
on  a  siding,  and  the  first  night  I  spotted  a  figure  sneak 
under  some  of  the  cars  and  bore  holes  and  put  in  plugs. 
No  attempt  was  made  that  night  to  steal  any  of  the  grain, 
and  evidently  the  cars  were  being  prepared  for  the  next 
night's  raid.  I  decided  to  follow  the  fellow  to  his  home 
on  the  first  night,  and  I  did  so.  The  trail  led  to  the 
home  of  the  five  Thrashers,  a  father,  mother,  and  three 
sons,  whose  constant  companions  were  two  fellows  named 
Johnson  and  Mike  Fox. 

"  I  went  back  and  got  two  constables,  and  told  them 
to  meet  me  at  a  point  in  the  yards,  where  I  would  have 
a  freight  engine.  I  got  a  switch  engine,  but  the  con- 
stables failed  to  appear,  so  I  went  alone  with  the  engineer, 
John  Savina  by  name,  and  the  fireman.  The  engine 
stopped  opposite  the  Thrashers,  and  I  went  out  to  the 
house  to  arrest  the  five  people.  I  told  the  engineer  and 
fireman  to  be  prepared  to  come  in  a  jiffy.  I  knocked  at 
the  door,  and  no  one  answered.  I  knocked  again,  and 
when  no  response  came  I  shoved  against  the  door  and 


68       MEMOIRS  OF  A  GREAT  DETECTIVE 

walked  in.  No  one  was  in  sight.  I  passed  through  the 
kitchen,  and  was  about  to  enter  a  room  opening  off  it 
when  a  tremendous  screech  came  from  the  room.  I 
stood  and  listened.  It  was  like  the  high,  quavering  note 
of  a  calliope  or  steam  piano.  Without  further  ado  I 
shoved  open  the  door  and  entered.  All  I  could  see  was 
a  big,  old-fashioned  bed,  surmounted  by  a  mosquito  net. 
Sitting  upright  in  this  bed  was  one  of  the  ugliest  women 
I  ever  saw  in  my  life.  She  would  glance  at  me,  and  then 
throw  back  her  head  and  screech  just  as  a  coyote  howls 
when  he  serenades  the  moon.  She  was  Mrs.  Thrasher. 
I  bade  her  get  up.  She  answered  with  a  series  of  ear- 
splitting  screeches.  I  spent  about  ten  minutes  trying  to 
persuade  her  to  get  out  of  bed.  When  words  were  of 
no  avail  I  laid  hold  of  the  mosquito  netting  and  pulled 
it  out  of  the  way. 

" '  I  am  palsied ! '  shrieked  Mrs.  Thrasher.  '  I  am 
paralysed,  and  cannot  be  moved  ! ' 

"  I  approached  the  bed,  and  she  dealt  me  such  a  thump 
on  the  head  with  her  clenched  hand  as  no  paralytic  ever 
was  able  to  do.  I  sought  to  take  her  out  of"  bed,  but  she 
buried  herself  in  the  bedclothes.  So  I  simply  took  the 
tick,  and  pulled  it  off  the  bed,  and  was  preparing  to  take 
the  bed  apart  with  her  in  it,  when  she  sprang  out  and 
fled  through  the  kitchen.  I  knew  I  could  get  her  later, 
and  the  tick  had  seemed  very  heavy  in  my  hands.  I  slit 
it  open,  and  found  it  filled  with  new  boots  and  shoes. 
While  I  was  emptying  them  out  I  heard  a  stealthy  step 
behind  me,  and  whirled  around  just  in  time  to  see  Mrs. 
Thrasher  swing  an  axe  and  aim  it  at  me.  I  dodged, 
and  laid  violent  hands  on  Mrs.  Thrasher's  ankles,  and 
landed  her  on  the  floor  with  a  thud.  Before  she  could 
regain  the  axe  I  just  rolled  her  into  the  emptied  tick,  and 
fastened  her  by  one  of  the  tall  bed-posts,  where  she  kicked 
and  screeched,  and  probably  well-nigh  suffocated  while  I 
was  searching  the  house. 

"  They  had  a  number  of  bedticks  all  filled  with  wheat. 
They  also  had  a  big  chimney  that  was  unused.  They 
had  stuffed  this  chimney  full  of  bags  of  wheat.  Old 
man  Thrasher  came  out  of  a  closet,  and  I  arrested  him. 


WITH  THE  HELP  OF  JESSIE  McLEAN      69 

The  engine  hands  helped  me  take  the  plunder  away.  I 
went  to  the  place  of  Mike  Fox,  near  by,  and  arrested 
him  after  finding  more  of  the  stolen  stuff  on  his  premises. 
I  also  arrested  Johnson,  and  took  the  whole  batch  before 
Magistrate  George  Gott,  who  also  was  Canadian  customs 
officer,  and  he  committed  them  to  Sandwich  gaol  for  trial 
before  Judge  Home,  who  sent  them  to  Kingston  Peni- 
tentiary for  four  years  each. 

"  That  broke  up  train-tapping.  Mrs.  Thrasher  averred 
that  after  she  was  bagged  in  the  tick  she  experienced  a 
sensation  similar  to  that  caused  by  smiting  the  outside  of 
the  tick  with  the  open  hand.  I  suggested  to  her  that 
perhaps  she  had  wriggled  and  kicked  so  much  as  to  bump 
herself  against  the  bed-post.  But  she  seemed  to  cling  to 
the  idea  that  she  had  been  spanked  soundly,  not  beaten 
or  bruised,  but  simply  spanked  strenuously.  What  could 
a  woman  named  Thrasher  expect  ?  " 


XII 

WITH  THE  HELP  OF  JESSIE  McLEAN 

On  a  bright,  sunshiny  day  in  1874  Murray  walked  out 
of  General-Superintendent  Finney's  office  in  the  Canada 
Southern  Station  at  St.  Thomas.  He  had  just  returned 
from  Cleveland,  and  had  made  a  report  on  the  arrest  of  a 
thief,  who  at  one  time  had  been  bothersome  to  the  com- 
pany. As  he  strolled  down  the  platform  he  saw  a  group 
of  trainmen  laughing  and  chatting  and  sunning  them- 
selves.    They  were  talking  of  fires. 

"  Sparks  from  Canada  Southern  locomotives  seemed  to 
become  contagious,  and  various  buildings  along  the  line 
began  to  shoot  sparks  and  to  go  up  in  smoke,"  says 
Murray.  "  It  grew  to  be  bothersome,  and  the  insurance 
companies  became  considerably  wrought  up.  The  com- 
plaints, of  course,  came  to  me. 

"  At  that  time  one  of  the  features  of  life  in  St.  Thomas 
was  Jessie  McLean.     Jessie  was  as  bonnie  a  Scotch  lass 


yo       MEMOIRS  OF  A  GREAT  DETECTIVE 

as  a  man  could  meet  in  twenty  counties.  She  was  good- 
looking,  with  peachy  cheeks  and  sunny  hair  and  merry 
eyes.  But,  above  all,  Jessie  weighed  250  pounds.  She 
was  the  biggest  girl  in  St.  Thomas.  Some  of  the  fellows 
used  to  joke  at  Jessie,  but  I  always  treated  her  with 
courtesy,  and  I  remember  the  days  when  I  used  to  walk 
a  quarter  of  a  mile  just  to  see  Jessie  McLean  on  her  way 
to  church.  It  was  not  a  case  of  love,  but  simply  a  desire 
to  see  a  250-pound  girl  go  by.  Every  man,  as  he  looks 
back  through  the  years  into  the  little  town  where  he 
lived  long  ago,  can  recall  certain  sights  and  scenes  that 
stand  out  vividly  in  the  vision  of  his  memory.  'Twas 
so  with  Jessie  McLean.  I  can  close  my  eyes  and  see 
her  still,  tripping  churchward,  250  pounds  of  graceful 
femininity. 

"  But  back  to  the  burnings.  The  climax,  of  the  fires 
came  when  the  Dufferin  House,  in  St.  Thomas,  burned. 
The  Dufferin  House  was  named  after  Lord  Dufferin,  then 
Governor-General  of  Canada.  It  was  a  large  wooden 
building  with  sixty  or  more  rooms,  and  stood  on  Talbert 
Street,  near  what  is  now  the  Michigan  Central  Station. 
Johnnie  Hanley  was  the  proprietor.  He  had  $9,000  of 
mortgages  on  the  house.  The  hotel  was  not  paying,  and 
Johnnie  could  not  pay  the  mortgages. 

"  One  quiet  Sunday  evening  in  October  the  Dufferin 
House  was  burned.  No  lives  were  lost.  The  insurance 
people  were  certain  the  fire  was  incendiary  in  its  origin. 
Mr.  Westmacott,  the  insurance  representative  from 
Toronto,  came  to  me ;  and  I  also  heard  the  talk  that 
engine  sparks  caused  the  fire.  I  took  charge  of  the  case. 
I  began  a  search  for  evidence.  It  was  a  difficult  task. 
The  evidence  was  not  connected  in  its  chain  of  circum- 
stances. Finally,  I  found  the  pastor  of  the  Baptist  Church 
could  strengthen  my  cause;  but  I  still  lacked  the  desired 
clinching  testimony.     Where  was  I  to  get  it? 

"  The  answer  came  in  Jessie  McLean.  The  250-pound 
Scotch  girl  told  me  she  had  seen  Johnnie  Hanley  as  he 
came  hurriedly  off  the  back  steps  just  before  the  fire.  It 
completed  the  case,  and,  thanks  to  Jessie  McLean,  who 
had  been  on  her  way  to  church  when  she  saw  him,  Johnnie 


THE  COURSE  OF  A  CAREER  71 

Hanley  was  convicted  and  sentenced  to  seven  years'  im- 
prisonment. 

"  Hanley  had  a  son-in-law,  Bill  Cronin,  who  kept  the 
Detroit  House ;  and  subsequently  it  was  burned.  Assisted 
by  Chief-of-Police  James  Fewings,  who  also  aided  me  in 
the  Hanley  case,  I  convicted  Cronin  of  setting  the  house 
on  fire,  and  he  also  was  sent  to  prison  for  seven  years. 
After  Cronin  had  followed  Hanley  to  prison,  the  sparks 
of  the  Canada  Southern  engines  seemed  to  become  harm- 
less ;  for  there  were  no  more  mysterious  fires,  and  the 
insurance  companies  breathed  easy,  and  Jessie  McLean 
continued  on  her  innocent,  250-pound  way,  and  finally 
married  a  bouncing  railroad  conductor." 


XIII 

THE  COURSE  OF  A  CAREER 

After  Murray  had  been  with  the  Canada  Southern 
Railroad  for  about  a  year,  the  Ontario  Government  be- 
gan to  inquire  if  he  was  restricted  exclusively  to  railroad 
detective  work.  His  line  of  work  had  brought  him 
under  the  constant  and  direct  notice  of  the  Department 
of  Justice. 

He  received  requests  from  the  Department  of  Justice  to 
aid  them,  first  in  matters  in  his  territory  as  head  of  the 
Canada  Southern's  Detective  Department,  and  finally  to 
take  up  a  baffling  case  for  the  Crown  and  work  it  out. 
In  the  fall  of  1874  Murray  received  this  telegram : 

"  John  W.  Murray. — Come  to  Toronto. — O.  Mowat." 

The  signer  was  Sir  Oliver  Mowat,  at  that  time  Attorney- 
General  and  head  of  the  Department  of  Justice.  Murray 
turned  the  telegram  over  to  the  railroad  people.  They 
told  Murray  to  go  to  Toronto  and  see  what  was  wanted, 
as  they  desired  to  keep  on  good  terms  with  the  Govern- 
ment. Thus  Murray,  as  chief  of  detectives  of  the  Canada 
Southern,  went  to  Toronto  in   1874  to  see  Attorney- 


72       MEMOIRS  OF  A  GREAT  DETECTIVE 

General  Mowat.  The  Attorney-General  asked  Murray 
to  become  connected  with  the  department.  Murray  de- 
clined, saying  he  had  come,  in  response  to  a  telegram,  to 
aid  the  Government  in  any  particular  matter  it  had  in 
hand. 

"  The  matter  was  stated  by  the  Attorney-General  and 
his  deputy,  J.  G.  Scott,"  says  Murray.  "  For  a  number 
of  years  counterfeiters  had  been  at  work  in  Owen  Sound 
and  vicinity.  Some  of  them  had  dealt  in  counterfeit 
money  for  a  long  time,  and  had  grown  very  wealthy  and 
had  influential  connections.  In  fact,  their  relationships 
made  it  a  doubly  difficult  matter.  The  Government  was 
annoyed  greatly  by  their  actions,  and  the  conditions 
finally  had  become  such  as  to  make  it  necessary  to  break 
up  the  gang,  regardless  of  their  influential  connections. 
Once  more  I  was  thankful  for  my  early  training  in  the 
counterfeiting  line.  I  went  direct  to  the  vicinity  stated 
by  the  Attorney-General,  and  it  was  not  long  before  I 
was  in  the  confidence  of  the  men  who  were  handling  the 
queer.  The  families  of  some  were  among  the  most 
respectable  in  that  part  of  the  country.  I  went  ahead 
and  obeyed  my  instructions.  The  members  of  the  gang 
were  arrested  and  convicted,  and  sent  to  the  penitentiary. 

"  One  of  the  gang  had  disappeared.  He  forged  bonds 
and  mortgages  on  various  farmers,  including  a  $1,500 
mortgage  on  a  farmer  named  Laycock,  in  the  township 
of  S;t.  Vincent,  county  of  Grey.  He  sold  the  forged 
paper  in  Toronto  to  Blaikie  &  Alexander  and  fled  the 
country,  leaving  no  trace  of  his  whereabouts.  His  name 
was  John  C.  Bond,  of  Owen  Sound. 

"  I  returned  to  St.  Thomas,  after  breaking  up  the  gang 
and  putting  a  stop  to  the  counterfeiting,  and  resumed  my 
duties  with  the  Canada  Southern.  At  intervals  I  re- 
ceived communications  from  the  Department  of  Justice 
relative  to  securing  my  services  permanently.  Sir  Oliver 
Mowat  was  Attorney-General  then,  and  J.  G.  Scott,  now 
Master  of  Titles,  was  Deputy  Attorney-General.  In  the 
spring  of  1875  came  a  formal  tender  of  appointment  as 
Detective  of  the  Department  of  Justice.  I  conferred 
with  my  friends  in  St.  Thomas.     They  advised  me  to  ac- 


THE  COURSE  OF  A  CAREER  73 

cept.  Mr.  Finney,  however,  urged  me  to  remain  with 
him  ;  and  later,  when  he  went  west  and  built  the  Wiscon- 
sin Central,  he  endeavoured  to  get  me  to  go  with  him. 

"  In  April,  1875,  I  was  appointed  by  the  Ontario 
Government.  When  I  received  the  notice  of  appoint- 
ment, I  wrote  at  once  saying  it  would  be  impossible  for 
me  to  get  away  for  at  least  three  months.  They  replied 
that  this  was  satisfactory.  I  finished  the  work  I  had  then 
in  hand,  and  in  July,  1875, 1  reported  for  duty  in  Toronto 
as  Detective  for  the  Provincial  Government.  I  was  the 
only  regular  officer,  and  I  succeeded  a  man  named  Smith. 
My  territory  was  all  the  Province  of  Ontario,  and  also  I 
was  to  follow  criminals  to  any  place  and  run  them  down. 
I  took  charge  of  the  detective  work  in  the  Department 
of  Justice,  of  which  the  Attorney-General  was  the  head." 

Murray  was  thirty-five  years  old  at  this  time.  He 
found  himself  in  charge  of  the  detective  work  in  a  field 
extending  practically  from  Montreal  on  the  east  to  Mani- 
toba on  the  west ;  from  the  United  States  on  the  south 
to  the  wastes  of  snow  and  ice  above  Georgian  Bay  on  the 
north.  Its  total  area  was  101,733  square  miles,  and  its 
division  was  into  eighty-four  counties.  It  was  girdled  by 
the  Ottowa  River,  the  Upper  St.  Lawrence  and  Lakes 
Ontario,  Erie,  Huron,  and  Superior.  From  southeast  to 
northwest  it  stretched  750  miles,  and  from  northeast  to 
southwest  it  was  500  miles. 

In  this  field  to  which  he  was  called,  Murray  found  that 
the  Department  of  Justice,  otherwise  the  Attorney-Gen- 
eral's Department,  had  charge  of  all  the  criminal  business 
of  the  Province.  For  the  expense  of  the  administration 
of  criminal  justice  there  is  an  appropriation  made  by  the 
Legislature,  or  Parliament,  every  year.  A  certain  pro- 
portion of  this  appropriation  is  charged  up  to  the  various 
counties  for  work  done  therein.  Each  county  has  a 
County  Crown  Attorney,  equivalent  to  a  District  Attor- 
ney in  the  United  States.  The  County  Crown  Attorney 
is  under  the  direction  of,  and  is  paid  by,  the  Department 
of  Justice.  The  counties  have  their  local  constables  ap- 
pointed by  the  County  Judge  of  each  county,  but  any 
criminal  matter  of  importance  is  reported  immediately  to 


74       MEMOIRS  OF  A  GREAT  DETECTIVE 

the  Department  of  Justice.  If  the  Department  deems 
the  case  of  sufficient  importance,  Murray  takes  it  up 
either  in  person  or  supervises  the  investigation,  the  con- 
stables and  others  being  subordinate  to  him  in  the 
matter. 

"  It  is  an  excellent  system,  and  the  splendid  record  of 
the  Department  of  Justice  for  many  years  indicates  how 
efficient  it  is  and  how  well  it  works,"  says  Murray. 

Murray  thus  entered  upon  the  full  course  of  his  career 
over  twenty-eight  years  ago.  He  brought  to  his  work  a 
rich  experience  and  rare  training.  His  dangerous  and 
exacting  duties  during  the  Civil  War  were  followed  by 
busy  years  with  the  United  States  in  special  service  and 
hard  years,  filled  with  all  sorts  of  experiences,  on  the 
police  force  at  Erie.  He  learned  all  the  details  of  the 
lower  forms  of  police  work  and  gradually  broadened  his 
field  of  activity  until  he  was  graduated  from  the  detective 
work  at  Erie  to  the  duties  of  head  of  the  Canada  South- 
ern Railroad's  detective  department.  He  had  learned 
what  it  meant  to  come  in  contact  with  desperate  crimi- 
nals. He  had  improved  the  opportunities  to  study  the 
ways  of  the  keenest  crooks.  He  had  schooled  himself  in 
the  details  of  information  of  every  class  of  crime.  The 
severity  with  which  his  skill  and  knowledge  and  ability 
were  tested  in  the  years  to  follow  is  shown  again  and 
again  in  the  tales  of  the  crimes  whose  mysteries  he  solved 
and  whose  perpetrators  he  ran  to  earth. 

His  new  field  included  cities,  towns,  and  villages,  thickly 
populated  places,  and  vast  stretches  of  country  unsettled 
and  wild.  In  the  flock  of  this  new  shepherd  were  the 
keen  city  thieves,  the  riff-raff  of  towns,  the  roughs  of  the 
country,  and  the  outlaws  of  the  wilds.  The  people  of  the 
Province  varied  as  much  as  did  its  physical  geography. 
There  were  strong  French  settlements,  strong  German 
settlements,  strong  English  settlements,  strong  Irish  set- 
tlements. Each  had  its  distinguishing  characteristics. 
They  were  clannish  in  their  ways.  Entire  counties  were 
known  as  German  counties,  or  French  counties,  or  English 
counties.  Scattered  among  the  honest,  peaceful  folk  were 
desperate  and  lawless  men.     In  addition  to  those  who  had 


THE  COURSE  OF  A  CAREER  75 

sought  the  country  from  the  old  world  as  a  haven  wherein 
to  hide,  or  who  had  grown  up  to  disregard  the  law  in 
the  liberty  which  the  land  afforded,  were  those  who  fled 
from  the  United  States  and  buried  themselves  in  out-of- 
the-way  places.  There  were  endless  opportunities  for 
the  perpetration  of  all  kinds  of  crime.  In  the  outlying 
villages  or  sparsely  settled  country,  ruffians  were  able  to 
outrage  law  and  order,  and  escape  to  other  remote  parts 
of  the  Province. 

Burglaries,  murders,  assaults,  forgeries,  counterfeitings, 
all  classes  of  crime  and  all  classes  of  criminals  were  known 
to  the  Province  at  that  time,  as  they  have  been  known  to 
it  since.  But  the  criminals  soon  were  to  learn  the  grip 
of  a  new  master.  They  were  to  feel  the  iron  hand  of  a 
man  who  feared  none  of  them ;  they  were  to  hear  the 
tread  of  footsteps  in  pursuit,  that  never  ceased  until  the 
pursued  was  dead  or  behind  prison  bars ;  they  were  to 
behold  a  new  face  and  listen  to  a  new  voice,  and  realise 
that  the  old  order  of  things  had  passed  away,  that  a  new 
figure  had  risen  among  them  and  ruled  in  absolute 
sway. 

Murray  in  1875  was  a  broad-shouldered,  powerful  giant, 
sandy  haired,  sandy  moustached,  blue-eyed.  His  voice, 
then,  as  now,  was  remarkable  for  its  wide  range,  and  par- 
ticularly for  its  power  to  change  from  gentle,  tender  tones 
to  ones  so  deep,  so  rough,  so  harsh,  that  at  times  the 
guilty,  on  hearing  it  in  thunderous  accusation,  have  burst 
into  tears  and  confessed.  In  all  the  years  that  have 
passed  since  he  began  his  work  in  Canada,  Murray  has 
changed  little  in  appearance.  Age  has  dealt  kindly  with 
him.  The  broad  shoulders  and  powerful  frame  are  giving 
their  meed  of  deference  to  the  fateful  years  that  have 
gone,  but  the  blue  eyes  look  out  upon  the  world,  as  of 
old,  bright  and  unafraid. 


76       MEMOIRS  OF  A  GREAT  DETECTIVE 

XIV 
SANCTIMONIOUS  BOND 

One  of  Murray's  first  acts  after  becoming  identified 
with  the  Department  of  Justice  at  Toronto,  was  to  turn 
back  to  the  case  of  John  C.  Bond,  of  the  Owen  Sound 
gang,  who  disappeared  the  year  before  when  Murray,  at 
Sir  Oliver  Mowat's  request,  broke  up  the  gang,  and  sent 
all  but  Bond  to  prison.  Bond  had  sold  a  $1,500  forged 
mortgage  in  Toronto,  and  vanished.  Murray  saw  at  the 
outset  it  was  important  he  should  impress  upon  the  mind 
of  all  the  criminal  classes  in  Canada  that,  once  he  set  out 
after  them,  he  would  land  them,  no  matter  where  they 
went  or  how  snugly  they  hid.  So  he  undertook  to  find 
Bond.  The  man  had  over  a  year's  start  of  Murray.  He 
had  gone,  no  one  knew  where.  He  had  money  to  aid 
him,  and  friends  to  protect  him.  He  might  be  in  China 
or  Labrador,  in  Australia  or  Russia.  He  might  be 
dead. 

"  The  first  thing  I  did  was  to  bill  him,"  says  Murray. 
"  I  prepared  bills  or  hand  posters  giving  his  description, 
his  habits,  his  crime,  and  any  other  information  of  use  in 
identifying  him.  I  sent  these  all  over  the  world — to 
Scotland  Yard,  to  Paris,  to  Berlin,  to  Rome,  to  New 
York,  to  Chicago,  and  all  the  chief  police  departments  in 
the  United  States,  and  elsewhere.  This  is  called  billing 
a  man.  Sometimes  I  do  not  bill  them,  for  I  prefer  a  still 
hunt,  and  I  conduct  it  through  personal  letters  to  my 
personal  friends  in  all  these  police  departments.  In  the 
course  of  my  life  I  have  had  occasion  to  make  friends 
with  able  men  in  practically  all  the  detective  bureaus  of 
all  the  great  police  departments.  But  I  desired  to  take 
no  advantage  of  Bond.  It  was  to  be  a  fair  chase,  with 
fair  warning,  his  wits  against  mine.  No  tidings  came 
from  billing  him.  So  I  took  the  next  step  in  hunting  a 
man.     I  located  his  nearest  kin. 

"  Bond  had  a  brother,  who  was  chief  clerk  in  the  post- 
office  in  Lindsay,  Ontario.     That  year  a  new  postmaster 


SANCTIMONIOUS  BOND  77 

was  appointed.  I  went  to  Lindsay  with  a  letter  of  intro- 
duction to  the  postmaster.  I  had  obtained  specimens  of 
Bond's  handwriting  for  purposes  of  comparison,  and  the 
next  day,  after  my  arrival,  there  was  a  new  assistant  clerk 
in  the  Lindsay  post-office,  who  opened  the  bags  of  in- 
coming mails,  and  ran  over  the  letters.  Soon  two  letters 
came.  I  got  a  glimpse  of  one,  but  not  sufficient  for  my 
purposes.  The  brother  was  quick  and  wary,  and  scooped 
the  letters  over.  The  second  letter  I  saw,  for  the  simple 
reason  that  some  candy  I  offered  to  the  brother  caused 
him  to  rush  out  very  frequently.  He  looked  for  a  letter 
every  other  Thursday,  and  it  was  on  a  Thursday  I  gave 
him  the  candy,  and  he  was  called  out  about  the  time  the 
mail  arrived.  The  letter  was  postmarked  Evanston,  111. 
The  handwriting  was  unlike  that  of  Bond,  except  for  a 
kink  in  the  B.  I  remembered  his  skill  as  a  forger,  and 
did  not  worry.  When  the  brother  reentered  the  office 
his  letters  lay  in  the  bunch,  without  a  sign  of  having 
been  touched. 

"  I  quietly  got  my  warrant  for  Bond's  arrest,  and 
slipped  away  to  Chicago.  Bill  McGrogle  was  chief  in 
Chicago  in  those  days.  Later,  he  foolishly  hurried  over 
into  Canada  for  a  sojourn  when,  as  I  understand,  there 
was  no  necessity  for  it.  From  Bill  I  received  a  letter  of 
introduction  to  the  chief  of  police  in  Evanston,  111., 
whose  name  was  Carney,  and  who  was  a  deputy  sheriff, 
and  several  other  officials,  as  well  as  chief  of  police. 
Carney  was  away  when  I  first  arrived. 

"  I  had  a  good  description  of  Bond,  although  I  never 
had  seen  him,  as  he  skipped  out  of  Owen  Sound  the  year 
before,  when  I  went  there  to  break  up  the  gang.  I  also 
had  a  blurred  photograph,  but  as  I  have  said  before,  a 
good  description  is  worth  more  than  a  dozen  photographs. 
It  gives  you  an  accuracy  in  idea  of  how  your  man  looks 
and  acts,  that  no  photograph  can  do.  I  began  to  walk 
the  streets  of  Evanston,  not  much  of  a  town  in  those 
days,  on  the  lookout  for  a  man  answering  the  descrip- 
tion of  Bond.  I  was  smoking  a  big,  black  cigar,  and  was 
blowing  the  smoke  skyward  with  great  gusto.  In  fact,  I 
stopped  at  a  street  corner  and  became  absorbed  in  blow- 


78       MEMOIRS  OF  A  GREAT  DETECTIVE 

ing  smoke  rings  and  watching  them  float  away,  expand- 
ing and  fading  as  they  went.  Suddenly  I  heard  a  voice 
beside  me,  one  of  those  smooth,  flat,  oily  voices,  that 
causes  you  to  think  its  owner  soaks  it  every  night  in  a 
vat  of  tincture  of  hypocrisy. 

"  '  My  friend,'  the  voice  was  saying, '  are  you  not  aware 
that  smoking  is  a  filthy  and  wasteful  habit  ? ' 

"  '  It  depends  on  the  point  of  view,'  I  remarked  mildly, 
for  I  was  a  stranger  in  a  strange  land,  and  desired  to 
make  friends  not  foes  just  then,  to  aid  me  in  my  hunt  for 
Bond. 

"  As  I  spoke  I  eyed  him,  and,  while  his  hair  decora- 
tions were  different,  he  answered  to  a  dot  my  description 
of  Bond.  If  I  could  see  him  walk  I  would  be  sure. 
Bond  had  no  limp,  but  my  description  was  particularly 
good  as  to  his  general  appearance  and  manner  when 
walking.  He  was  revelling  in  a  tirade  against  smoking, 
and  finally  took  up  the  theme  of  the  evil  of  intemper- 
ance. I  said  just  enough  to  keep  him  going,  and  when 
he  began  to  pace  to  and  fro  I  stepped  back  about  fifteen 
feet  and  watched  him.  I  saw  him  clasp  his  hands  behind 
his  back.  Bond  did  the  same  thing,  according  to  my 
description.  I  saw  him  clasp  his  hands  in  front  of  him. 
Bond  did  the  same.  Bond  also  interlaced  his  fingers,  and 
I  vowed  that  if  this  sanctimonious,  hypocritical  haranguer 
interlaced  his  fingers,  I  would  seize  him  on  the  spot.  Lo 
and  behold !  he  did  so.  I  stepped  forward,  seized  his 
right  hand,  and  shook  it  heartily. 

"  '  Why,  Bond,  old  fellow,  I  didn't  recognise  you  at 
first,'  I  said,  and  continued  to  shake  his  hand  with  in- 
creased fervour. 

"  He  stopped  short  in  his  sermonising  on  smoking. 

" '  You  are  mistaken,'  he  said,  endeavouring  to  draw 
away  his  hand  which,  by  that  time,  I  was  shaking  vio- 
lently. 

"  '  No,'  said  I,  seizing  both  hands,  and  shaking  them  so 
that  his  teeth  chattered.  '  I  met  you  in  Hamilton,  where 
you  were  in  the  sewing-machine  business.' 

"'  Oh,  yes,'  he  chattered,  for  I  had  his  head  bobbing 
by  my  hand-shaking.     *  What  name  ?  ' 


SANCTIMONIOUS  BOND  79 

"  *  MacDonald,'  said  I,  and  I  shook  his  hands  until  I 
warrant  his  arms  almost  fell  out  of  their  sockets. 

"  This  hand-shaking  a  man  until  he  almost  falls  apart  is 
not  an  accepted  form  of  arresting  a  man,  and  I  never  had 
done  it  before,  but  I  actually  was  glad  to  see  Bond,  and 
also,  I  was  very  fond  of  tobacco  then,  although  I  do  not 
use  it  now,  and  I  resented  his  interfering  with  my  morn- 
ing smoke,  particularly  when  the  rings  were  floating  so 
beautifully.  Also  I  hoped  to  shake  an  acknowledgment 
of  his  identity  out  of  him,  if  he  was  Bond.  So  I  simply 
stood  there  and  shook  him.  I  shook  his  hands  until  his 
hat  fell  off.  I  shook  his  hands  until  he  was  red  in  the 
face  and  was  gasping  for  breath.  The  few  people  who 
saw  us  grinned  understandingly,  as  if  witnessing  the  re- 
union of  two  long-lost  brothers.  I  shook  his  hands  relent- 
lessly, furiously  for  several  minutes.  Then  I  stopped  and 
looked  at  him. 

" '  Bond,  I  am  glad  to  see  you,'  I  said,  and  I  made  as 
if  to  shake  hands  again. 

"  '  No,  no,'  said  Bond,  hastily  clasping  his  hands  behind 
him. 

"'  Will  you  have  a  drink,  Bond  ? '  I  said. 

"  The  sanctimonious  expression  settled  down  over  his 
face  again,  like  a  putty  mask.  I  respect  a  sincere  tem- 
perate man,  but  a  hypocrite  makes  me  feel  as  if  I  had 
mosquitoes  down  my  back. 

" '  This  is  a  temperance  town,  and  I  neither  smoke  nor 
drink,'  said  Bond. 

"  '  Well,  I  tell  you,  Bond,'  said  I ;  '  you  may  not  smoke 
or  drink,  but  I  arrest  you  just  the  same.  It's  not  because 
you  neither  smoke  nor  drink,  but  because  you  are  wanted 
over  in  Canada  for  a  little  business  you  did  over  there.' 

"  I  arrested  him  then  and  there.  All  I  had  was  the 
Canada  warrant,  and  it  alone  was  not  worth  the  paper  it 
was  written  on  in  Illinois.  But  the  chief  of  police,  Car- 
ney, had  come  home,  and  I  handed  over  my  letter  of  in- 
troduction, and  after  he  read  it  I  locked  Bond  up,  and 
took  him  to  Chicago  by  the  next  train.  He  was  in  the 
piano  business,  and  was  a  temperance  lecturer  and  or- 
ganiser. 


80       MEMOIRS  OF  A  GREAT  DETECTIVE 

"  '  Where  am  I  wanted  ? '  asked  Bond,  on  his  way  from 
Evanston  to  Chicago. 

"  I  knew  Bond  relied  on  his  ability  to  escape  conviction 
in  Owen  Sound,  for  in  those  days  it  was  a  mighty  diffi- 
cult task  to  convict  a  man  in  Owen  Sound,  who  had 
money  and  friends  there.  So  I  answered :  '  Owen 
Sound.'  Bond  smiled  outwardly ;  so  did  I  smile,  in- 
wardly. 

"  Bond  had  a  brother  in  Chicago  who  was  a  member  of 
the  Board  of  Trade.  When  we  arrived  there  the  brothers 
talked  it  over,  and  were  satisfied  Bond  should  return,  they 
thinking  it  was  the  aftermath  of  the  troubles  of  the  Owen 
Sound  gang.  Bond  came  with  me,  and  when  I  arrived  in 
Canada  I  informed  him  we  were  going  to  Toronto,  instead 
of  to  Owen  Sound.  He  was  one  of  the  maddest  hypo- 
crites I  ever  saw.  He  was  so  hot  that,  despite  his  not 
using  tobacco,  he  almost  blew  rings  of  smoke.  I  landed 
him  in  Toronto  on  October  16th,  1875.  He  was  sent  to 
the  penitentiary  for  seven  years.  I  brought  him  back 
over  a  year  after  he  disappeared,  and  a  little  over  three 
months  after  I  became  a  Government  official. 

"  Bond  was  a  hypocrite.  He  posed  as  a  saint,  and  in 
fact  he  was  a  crook.  A  change  of  countries  did  not  work 
a  change  of  character.  To  look  at  him  as  he  sermonised 
on  the  street  of  Evanston,  one  might  mistake  him  for  a 
minister,  but  a  second  glance  would  tell  the  difference. 
However,  the  countenance  does  not  always  betray  the 
crook.  I  have  read  often  about  the  most  accomplished 
crooks  having  the  most  clerical  faces.  That  does  not  ex- 
ist, as  a  rule,  at  all.  Crime  leaves  its  traces  just  as  con- 
sumption leaves  its  traces.  Yet  I  have  known  desperate 
criminals  who  looked  like  ignorant  bumpkins  or  scholarly 
ministers.  The  eye  is  the  great  betrayer.  Some  crooks 
have  a  hard,  steady  eye  ;  others  have  a  small,  restless  eye ; 
others  a  large,  placid  eye.  It  is  not  so  much  the  size  or 
kind  of  eye,  as  it  is  the  sudden  gleam  or  flicker,  or  waver 
or  droop,  the  barest  flash  of  guilt,  ofttimes  merely  frac- 
tional or  intangible,  yet  as  ample  as  the  flare  of  a  beacon 
light  to  locate  the  danger  and  reveal  the  true  character. 
Often  you  instinctively  know  your  man.     It  is  as  if  some 


RALPH  FINDLAY  LURCHED  AND  FELL    81 

mysterious  transmission  of  intelligence  told  you  certainly : 
1  There  he  is/  or  '  He  is  lying.' 

"  Bond  was  one  of  the  immaculate  sort,  so  far  as  coun- 
tenance was  concerned.  But  I  will  venture  that  never 
again  in  all  his  life  has  he  approached  a  stranger,  who 
was  enjoying  a  quiet  smoke,  and  poured  forth  upon  him 
a  street  corner  tirade  against  the  evils  of  tobacco.  Evans- 
ton  lost  a  thrifty  piano  dealer  and  loquacious  temperance 
lecturer,  but  Kingston  Penitentiary  gained  a  sanctimonious 
prisoner." 


XV 
WHEN  RALPH  FINDLAY  LURCHED  AND  FELL 

In  the  pale  moonlight  of  a  warm  night,  in  September, 
1875,  a  door  opened  softly  in  the  big  farmhouse  of  Ralph 
Findlay,  in  the  township  of  Sombra,  county  of  Lambton, 
about  a  hundred  and  fifty  miles  west  from  Toronto,  and 
a  man  stepped  out.  He  was  clad  in  nightshirt  and  trou- 
sers. In  his  hand  he  carried  a  lantern,  that  cast  a  circle 
of  fitful  light  about  him  as  he  walked.  He  crossed 
swiftly  from  the  house  to  the  barn.  There  were  noises 
in  the  barn.  The  horses  were  neighing  and  stamping. 
The  figure  with  the  lantern  paused  and  listened,  then 
hastened  to  the  nearest  door.  The  noises  ceased  as  he 
approached.  He  stepped  forward  and  opened  the  door. 
A  shot  rang  out  in  the  night.  He  choked,  swayed,  and 
fell  forward  on  the  floor,  the  lantern  in  his  hand.  So 
he  lay. 

The  terrified  squealing  of  the  horses  died  away.  Their 
stamping  ceased.  The  minutes  passed.  A  figure  crept 
cautiously  out  of  the  barn,  peering  into  the  face  of  the 
man  prone  on  the  floor,  and  vanished  in  the  night.  The 
swish  of  his  feet  could  be  heard  as  he  sneaked  along  in 
the  shadow  of  the  fence  beyond  the  barn  and  near  the 
house.  Then  all  was  still.  No  sound  came  from  house 
or  barn.  The  lantern  in  the  stiffening  hand  had  gone 
out.     So  had  the  life. 


82       MEMOIRS  OF  A  GREAT  DETECTIVE 

The  door  of  the  house  opened  cautiously  a  second 
time.  A  woman  stood  in  the  doorway.  She  held  a  light 
above  her  head  and  suddenly  shouted  :  "  Get  up !  Get 
up  ! "  Lights  popped  out  in  the  house.  The  woman 
and  three  men  ran  out  of  the  house  and  across  to  the 
barn.  They  went  straight  to  the  nearest  door.  They 
peered  in.  The  light  of  their  lamps  fell  upon  the  lifeless 
figure  on  the  floor. 

"  Oh,  my  God  !  The  horses  have  kicked  him  to  death  ! 
Go  for  my  father ! "  shrieked  the  woman.  One  of  the 
three  men  ran  to  the  horses,  bridled  one  of  them,  leaped 
upon  him  and  went  galloping  through  the  night  to  the 
home  of  Farmer  Rankin,  nine  miles  away,  to  tell  him 
that  his  daughter's  husband  had  been  kicked  to  death  by 
the  horses.  The  other  men  beside  the  body  in  the  barn 
knelt  and  looked  at  the  dead  man,  then  crossed  to  the 
horses  and  found  them  in  their  stalls,  but  with  their  halters 
slipped.  The  woman  ran  screaming  back  to  the  house 
and  to  her  two  little  children.  The  two  men  hastened 
for  some  of  the  neighbours.  They  came  in  the  night 
and  bore  the  body  into  the  house.  The  Rankins,  father 
and  sons,  came  galloping  with  doctors  before  the  dawn. 
But  Ralph  Findlay  was  beyond  all  need  of  doctors. 

They  started  a  coroner's  inquest  at  once.  Mrs.  Find- 
lay  told  how  she  was  in  bed  with  her  husband,  and  they 
heard  a  noise  in  the  barn.  He  got  up,  slipped  on  his 
trousers,  and  went  out.  He  stayed  so  long  that  she  be- 
came alarmed,  arose,  went  to  the  door,  heard  nothing, 
and  then  roused  the  inmates  of  the  house  and  ran  to  the 
barn,  where  they  found  him  dead  on  the  barn  floor. 

William  Smith,  the  hired  man,  who  rode  away  to  notify 
the  Rankins,  told  of  being  awakened  by  Mrs.  Findlay's 
cries  and  going  out  to  the  barn  and  finding  Findlay  dead. 
The  other  hired  men,  Buchanan  and  Reed,  told  of  being 
awakened  and  rushing  out  and  finding  the  dead  man. 
They  were  under  the  impression  that  horse  thieves  had 
sneaked  into  the  barn  to  steal  the  horses,  that  Findlay  had 
caught  them  in  the  act,  and  they  had  shot  him  and  es- 
caped. The  Department  of  Justice  at  Toronto  was  noti- 
fied  by   telegraph.     Murray  was   near   St.  Thomas    on 


RALPH  FINDLAY  LURCHED  AND  FELL    83 

another  case.  The  Department  telegraphed  to  him  to  go 
immediately. 

"  I  arrived  there  on  the  day  of  the  funeral,"  says  Mur- 
ray. "  I  never  had  seen  such  a  crowd  of  farmers  as  had 
gathered  there.  I  was  a  stranger  to  them  all.  Findlay 
was  a  highly  esteemed,  educated  man.  He  had  been  a 
professor  and  had  taught  in  various  schools,  and  was 
considered  one  of  the  best  mathematicians  in  the  prov- 
ince. I  learned  from  neighbours  who  were  at  the  place 
for  the  funeral,  that  several  years  before  he  had  bought 
the  farm  of  two  hundred  and  fifty  or  more  acres,  stocked 
it  well,  and  shortly  before  moving  on  to  it  he  married 
Sarah  Rankin,  daughter  of  a  big  farmer  in  the  adjoining 
township  of  Dover.  She  was  a  rosy,  good-looking,  stout 
woman  of  about  twenty-seven  when  her  husband  was 
killed.  He  was  a  man  of  gentlemanly  appearance  and 
about  thirty-eight  years  old.  He  had  three  hired  men, 
Smith,  Buchanan,  and  Reed,  and  also  a  hired  girl.  There 
were  two  children,  a  little  boy  and  girl.  The  hired  man 
Smith  had  gone  away  once  and  spent  some  months  in 
the  lumber  woods  of  Michigan,  but  returned  and  resumed 
his  work  with  Findlay. 

"  All  was  confusion  and  excitement  around  the  place. 
Farmers  were  talking,  and  women  were  gathered  in 
groups,  some  weeping,  others  full  of  anger  or  fear.  I 
saw  the  hired  girl  out  near  the  well  and  quietly  learned 
what  she  knew.  Smith,  the  hired  man,  had  been  to 
Wallaceburg,  five  miles  away,  on  the  evening  of  the 
murder,  but  had  returned  in  good  time  and  retired  with 
the  hired  man  Reed.  The  hired  girl  went  to  bed  as 
usual,  and  was  awakened  by  Mrs.  Findlay's  crying : 
4  Get  up  !  Get  up  ! '  I  next  talked  with  Reed,  a  young 
fellow  about  nineteen  years  old.  He  said  he  and  Smith 
slept  together,  that  they  went  to  bed  as  usual,  that  he 
slept  soundly  until  he  heard  Mrs.  Findlay  shouting:  '  Get 
up  !  Get  up ! '  Reed  jumped  out  of  bed  at  once,  he 
said,  while  Smith  still  was  sleeping.  He  shook  Smith, 
who  was  hard  to  waken,  and  they  went  down-stairs  and 
out  to  the  barn.  Buchanan,  the  hired  man,  told  me  his 
story  too,  similar  to  the  others. 


84       MEMOIRS  OF  A  GREAT  DETECTIVE 

"  I  had  not  seen  Mrs.  Findlay  or  Smith.  In  fact, 
wherever  I  went  I  was  followed  by  a  throng  of  people, 
who  dogged  my  footsteps  and  crowded  forward  when  I 
stopped.  Two  of  Findlay 's  brothers  were  there.  One 
of  them  was  a  Customs  officer  at  Port  Stanley,  and  the 
other,  John  Findlay,  was  a  merchant  also  at  Port  Stanley. 
John  Findlay  was  in  a  frenzy  of  excitement.  He  went 
about  exclaiming  that  his  brother  was  murdered,  and  be- 
seeching me  to  find  the  murderer. 

"  I  drew  back  from  the  throng  of  country  folk  and 
looked  them  over.  My  eye  lighted  on  the  keen,  in- 
telligent face  of  an  old  fellow,  and  I  walked  over  and 
called  him  aside.  He  said  his  name  was  McLean,  and 
he  lived  about  a  mile  away,  his  house  being  in  plain 
view.     We  chatted,  and  suddenly  the  old  fellow  said : 

" '  This  summer  I  was  out  looking  for  my  cattle  be- 
yond the  woods,  and  I  stopped  here  for  a  drink  of  water. 
There  was  no  cup  at  the  pump.  I  walked  into  the 
kitchen  and  Smith  and  Mrs.  Findlay  were  on  the  floor. 
She  jumped  up  and  said  Smith  was  taking  a  thorn  out 
of  her  foot.' 

"  While  we  were  talking  McLean  nodded  towards  the 
outskirts  of  the  crowd  and  said :  '  You  see  that  fellow  in 
the  blue  shirt  ?  That's  the  hired  man,  William  Smith.' 
I  looked  and  saw  a  hangdog  sort  of  fellow  standing  apart 
from  the  others.  The  minister  had  not  arrived,  so  I  sat 
quietly  watching  Smith,  who  chewed  a  piece  of  grass 
and  paced  slowly  to  and  fro.  The  minister  came  and  the 
crowd  rushed  around  him,  John  Findlay  shouting  for 
justice.  I  walked  through  the  house  and  out  of  the  back 
door.  I  saw  a  stout  woman  back  of  the  house,  moaning 
and  wringing  her  hands. 

"  '  Oh,  my  God  !  Oh,  my  God ! '  she  was  crying,  sway- 
ing to  and  fro  as  she  cried. 

"  '  Are  you  Mrs.  Findlay  ? '  I  asked. 

" '  Yes,  yes.     Oh,  my  God !     Oh,  my  God  ! '  she  cried. 

" '  Come  here.     I  want  you,'  I  said  roughly. 

"  '  Oh  ! '  she  gasped. 

"  I  led  her  well  away  from  the  house  and  the  crowd, 
to  a  quiet  corner  where  an  old  log  lay.     She  sat  down  on 


RALPH  FINDLAY  LURCHED  AND  FELL    85 

the  end  of  the  log.  I  stood  up.  I  looked  at  her  fully 
five  minutes  without  speaking  or  moving.  She  rocked 
to  and  fro,  moaning  and  crying  bitterly  at  first,  and  all 
the  time  exclaiming :  '  Oh,  my  God !  Oh,  my  God  ! ' 
But  as  the  silence  lengthened,  I  noticed  her  look  at  me 
through  her  fingers  as  she  held  her  hands  to  her  face. 
When  she  looked  she  ceased  crying,  but  immediately 
would  resume  her  lamentations  and  moans  of  '  Oh,  my 
God  !     Oh,  my  God  ! ' 

"  «  You  might  well  say  :  "  Oh,  my  God  !  "  '  I  exclaimed 
suddenly. 

"  '  Oh,  my  God !  Oh,  my  God  ! '  she  answered,  rocking 
violently. 

"  I  bent  over  her  with  my  face  close  to  hers.  '  Are 
you  not  afraid  to  mention  the  name  of  God,  you  mur- 
derer ?  I  do  not  sympathise  with  you,  but  I  do  sym- 
pathise with  your  two  little  children.  Their  father  mur- 
dered, and  their  mother  hanged  ! ' 

"  *  Oh,  my  God ! '  she  moaned  and  shuddered. 

" '  Don't  you  dare  say  that,'  I  thundered.  '  Speak 
some  other  name  but  not  the  name  of  God.' 

"  Suddenly  Smith  came  into  sight  near  the  house. 

" '  Look  at  that  villain ! '  I  said  to  her,  and  she 
raised  her  head  and  looked  towards  the  house  and  saw 
Smith. 

" '  Oh,  my  God  ! '  she  shrieked. 

" '  I  told  you  before  not  to  call  your  God  to  witness,' 
I  said,  my  mouth  close  to  her  ear.  '  You  know  what 
your  God  knows  of  this  ! ' 

" '  Oh,  oh,  oh  ! '  she  gasped  and  put  up  her  hands  as 
if  to  shut  away  a  hateful  sight. 

"  She  began  to  pant  like  a  hound  that  is  exhausted. 
She  gasped  and  clutched  at  the  empty  air.  She  rocked 
and  swayed  and  beat  her  clenched  hands  together  and 
struck  herself  upon  the  forehead,  temples,  and  bosom.  I 
waited.  The  vision  of  the  crime  was  before  her,  the  clutch 
of  the  sense  of  guilt  was  choking  her.  She  writhed  in 
mental  and  moral  agony.  She  shut  her  eyes  and  turned 
away  her  head,  but  turn  where  she  would,  the  crime  con- 
fronted her. 


86       MEMOIRS  OF  A  GREAT  DETECTIVE 

"  *  Out  with  it ! '  I  said.  '  Tell  me  the  truth.  I  want 
nothing  but  the  truth.' 

"  She  looked  up  and  her  eyes  were  like  those  of  an  ox 
in  whose  throat  the  butcher's  knife  has  been  buried. 

" '  Oh  ! '  she  husked,  in  a  hoarse  whisper.  '  Will  you 
hang  me  ? ' 

" '  I  am  not  in  a  position  to  say  what  will  become  of 
you,  but  I  do  pity  your  children,'  I  answered. 

"  With  a  gulp  she  lurched  back,  clutched  at  the  log, 
sat  up  and,  dry-eyed  and  sobless,  told  me  the  story 
of  the  crime.  She  blamed  Smith  at  the  outset.  She 
said  he  did  it  and  had  caused  all  the  trouble.  When  he 
went  to  Michigan  to  the  lumber  camps  it  was  because 
her  husband  had  discharged  him.  While  in  Michigan, 
Smith  had  corresponded  with  her,  and  had  brought  to 
her  a  bottle  of  strychnine,  with  which  she  was  to  poison 
her  husband.  She  had  failed  to  do  it,  but  when  Smith 
returned  she  persuaded  her  husband,  much  against  his 
will,  to  hire  Smith  again.  On  the  evening  of  the  murder 
she  gave  Smith  $i  to  go  to  Wallaceburg,  five  miles  away, 
to  buy  a  bottle  of  brandy  to  give  him  courage.  He 
bought  the  brandy  and  came  back  and  went  to  bed  as 
usual,  sleeping  on  the  outside  of  the  bed  he  shared  with 
young  Reed.  He  sneaked  out  when  he  thought  all  were 
asleep,  went  to  the  barn,  untied  the  horses,  and  began  to 
slash  them  so  that  they  would  make  a  noise.  Mrs. 
Findlay  woke  her  husband  and  told  him  he'd  better  go 
out  to  the  barn.  He  went,  and  Smith  shot  him  as  he 
entered.  No  one  but  Mrs.  Findlay  heard  the  shot.  She 
arose  when  she  heard  it,  and  let  Smith  into  the  house. 
'  I  finished  him,'  said  Smith,  as  he  entered.  '  Good  boy,' 
she  said,  and  closed  the  door.  Smith  had  another  drink 
and  went  up-stairs  to  bed,  and  after  all  was  still  she 
opened  the  door  and  began  to  cry  ;  '  Get  up  !  get  up  ! ' 

"  As  she  sat  on  the  log  she  told  me  the  story.  I  im- 
mediately got  John  Findlay,  the  brother,  and  old  man 
McLean.  I  gave  Findlay  a  book  and  pencil  and  she  told 
the  story  again,  while  he  wrote  it  down. 

" '  Go  back  to  the  house  and  the  crowd,'  I  said  to 
her,  when  she  finished.     '  Don't  open  your  mouth  or  say 


RALPH  FINDLAY  LURCHED  AND  FELL    87 

a  word  to  that  murderer.  I  am  not  going  to  arrest  him 
now.' 

"  She  started  back,  tearless  and  no  longer  moaning. 

" '  Begin  to  sob,'  I  told  her,  and  straightway  she  re- 
sumed her  moaning  and  crying,  with  mutterings  of  '  Oh, 
my  God  !     Oh,  my  God  ! ' 

"  The  minister  began  the  service.  The  hearse  arrived. 
The  coffin  was  carried  out.  The  people  entered  their 
waggons.  The  procession  was  about  to  start.  I  was 
watching  Smith.  I  saw  him  hang  back  and  I  sent  old 
man  McLean  to  him. 

"'Smith,  ain't  you  going  to  the  funeral?'  asked  Mc- 
Lean. 

"  '  No,'  said  Smith.     '  Too  much  to  do.' 

" '  Go  on  and  get  your  coat  or  people  will  say  you  did 
it,'  said  McLean. 

"  Smith  got  into  a  waggon  and  drove  to  the  cemetery. 
He  was  placed  well  up  towards  the  grave.  They  low- 
ered the  coffin.  Some  clods  fell  on  it  with  a  rattle  and  a 
thud.  Smith  turned  his  back.  I  stood  right  behind 
him.  As  he  turned  I  said,  right  in  his  ear :  '  Go  and 
ta'ke  your  last  look  at  the  man  you  murdered.' 

"  He  started  as  if  he  had  been  knifed. 

" '  I  ain't  murdered  no  one,'  he  said,  pale  as  a  candle. 

"  '  Go,  look  at  that  coffin,  going  down  into  the  grave,' 
I  said. 

"  He  would  not  look.  It  seemed  as  if  he  could  not 
look.  I  arrested  him,  and,  calling  the  constable,  had 
him  taken  away  quietly  and  locked  up.  It  did  not  dis- 
turb the  burial. 

"  Then  came  the  battle.  I  foresaw  the  tremendous 
elements  of  influence  that  would  rally  to  avert  a  convic- 
tion. I  reopened  the  inquest,  put  Mrs.  Findlay  on  the 
stand  and  she  told  her  story.  She  and  Smith  were  com- 
mitted to  Sarnia  gaol.  I  searched  the  house  and  found 
the  strychnine  in  the  bottle.  I  went  to  Michigan  and 
made  a  tour  of  the  drug  stores,  and  in  St.  Louis,  Michi- 
gan, I  found  the  druggist  who  sold  the  bottle  of  poison 
to  Smith.  I  proved  by  young  Reed  that  the  gun  used 
to  shoot  Findlay  was  kept  in  the  barn,  and  Reed  had 


88       MEMOIRS  OF  A  GREAT  DETECTIVE 

seen  Smith  reload  it  a  few  days  before  the  murder. 
While  Mrs.  Findlay  was  telling  her  story  on  the  stand, 
Smith  burst  out :  '  Oh,  you  villain,  you  will  hang  both 
of  us.'     Her  answer  was  characteristic  :  «  Oh,  my  God  ! ' 

"  While  Mrs.  Findlay  and  Smith  were  in  gaol  awaiting 
the  trial,  she  corresponded  with  Smith,  writing  him  notes 
and  lowering  them  from  her  cell  window  to  his  cell  win- 
dow, by  means  of  a  thread  made  by  unravelling  her 
stocking.  The  gaoler  finally  got  the  correspondence, 
and  it  was  turned  over  to  the  sheriff;  but  when  called 
for  in  court  it  was  not  to  be  found.  The  failure  to  pro- 
duce it  caused  a  great  deal  of  talk. 

"  Judge  Moss  presided  at  the  trial.  He  is  dead  now 
and  this  case  came  in  his  first  year  on  the  bench.  The 
Crown  was  represented  by  the  present  Judge  MacMahon, 
a  descendant  of  the  distinguished  French  MacMahons. 
Smith  was  defended  by  a  very  able  lawyer,  David  Glass, 
of  London,  now  dead.  Smith  belonged  to  a  prominent 
order,  of  which  no  member  ever  was  hung  in  that  county. 
At  the  assizes,  in  October,  1875,  Smith  was  tried  and 
convicted  of  murder.  In  Canada  there  are  no  verdicts 
of  degrees  of  murder.  A  prisoner  is  guilty  of  murder  or 
manslaughter,  or  is  acquitted,  or  the  jury  disagrees. 
When  a  prisoner  is  convicted  of  murder,  the  judge  has 
no  alternative  but  to  sentence  him  to  be  hanged.  For 
manslaughter  the  sentence  may  be  for  life  or  for  any  less 
term  down  to  three  months.  At  the  trial  of  Smith,  Mrs. 
Findlay  went  on  the  stand  and  swore  to  her  story. 

"  Mr.  Glass  took  an  objection  to  the  legality  of  the 
evidence.  It  was  carried  to  the  Court  of  Appeal  of  the 
Province,  then  to  the  Supreme  Court  of  Canada,  and 
finally  to  the  Privy  Council  in  England.  It  was  a.  prec- 
edent case.  The  Privy  Council  sustained  the  rulings  of 
the  trial  judge,  that  Mrs.  Findlay's  evidence  was  admissi- 
ble under  the  circumstances.  It  was  over  a  year  after 
Smith's  conviction,  when  the  Privy  Council  passed  on 
the  case.  Smith  was  sentenced  to  be  hanged.  Through 
the  influence  of  his  counsel,  who  was  a  very  prominent 
party  man  at  that  time,  his  sentence  was  commuted  to 
imprisonment  for  life.     He  died  in  the  Penitentiary  after 


WELLINGTON  SQUARE  89 

serving  fifteen  years,  or  more.  Mrs.  Findlay  was  in  gaol 
for  a  couple  of  years,  or  more,  and  finally  was  released 
without  trial,  and  went  back  to  her  people.  Smith  was 
about  thirty-two  years  old,  and  vastly  unlike  the  man  he 
murdered,  either  in  appearance  or  education. 

"  It  was  a  case  in  which  the  countryside  at  first  was 
united  on  the  theory  of  horse  thieves.  To  me  the  theory 
was  worthless,  for  the  horse  thieves  would  not  have  un- 
haltered  four  horses  and  turned  them  loose  in  a  barn, 
but  would  have  haltered  them  and  led  them  quietly  out. 
It  was  a  case  where,  the  general  history  of  all  concerned, 
prior  to  the  crime,  supplied  the  possibility  of  an  adequate 
motive  in  the  form  of  a  desire  to  be  rid  of  Findlay.  The 
woman's  grief  was  sham.  McLean's  thirst  in  the  sum- 
mer which  caused  him  to  walk  unannounced  into  the 
kitchen  of  the  Findlay  house,  led  to  the  clue  that  caused 
me,  upon  seeing  how  unreal  was  the  woman's  sorrow,  to 
crowd  her  for  a  confession.  Her  imagination  pictured  to 
her  the  crime  when  she  strove  in  vain  to  shut  it  out. 
Imagination  is  the  key  that  has  unlocked  the  secret  of 
many  a  crime.  Imagination  conjures  up  all  the  potent 
fears  that  the  guilty  dread.  It  causes  many  crimes,  but 
it  also  betrays  many  a  criminal." 


XVI 

THE  TINKLING  HOUSE  OF  WELLINGTON  SQUARE 

Near  the  main  road  leading  through  Wellington 
Square,  a  little  place  twenty-five  miles  west  of  Toronto 
and  a  convenient  drive  from  Hamilton,  stood  the  farm- 
house of  an  old  man  named  Pettit.  Neighbours  who 
passed  in  the  night  averred  that  at  unusual  hours  a  light 
shone  and  there  was  a  tinkling  sound  such  as  they  could 
not  account  for.  They  used  to  creep  close  and  listen. 
They  could  hear  the  tinklety-tink,  tinklety-tink,  like  the 
muffled  tapping  of  a  tiny  bell,  yet  different  from  a  bell's 
clear  voice. 


90       MEMOIRS  OF  A  GREAT  DETECTIVE 

The  old  man  kept  to  himself.  He  had  a  son  who 
lived  with  him,  and  they  were  uncommunicative  about 
their  affairs.  They  were  industrious  and  thrifty.  Their 
crops  were  good,  their  cattle  were  fat,  their  expenses 
were  small.  Finally  a  neighbour,  bolder  than  the  others, 
was  passing  the  house  one  night  and  hearing  the  faint, 
insistent  tinklety-tink,  he  crept  close,  and  finally  climbed 
a  tree  and  peered  into  the  window.  The  sight  made  him 
gasp.  A  candle  stood  on  the  table.  Beside  the  candle 
was  a  box  as  big  as  a  wash-boiler.  Old  man  Pettit  stood 
by  the  box.  His  face  was  beaming,  his  eyes  were  bright. 
On  the  table  was  a  heap  of  gold,  not  a  little  heap,  but  a 
big  pile,  with  gold  coins  scattered  all  over  the  table. 
They  shone  and  glittered  in  the  candle-light.  The  old 
man  would  thrust  his  hands  into  the  pile,  seize  the  gold 
coins  until  he  could  hold  no  more,  raise  his  hands  and 
then  drop  the  coins  in  golden  streams  down  on  to  the 
pile  again.  As  they  struck  the  yellow  pyramid  they 
clinked  and  tinkled  musically.  At  the  sound  of  the  gold 
the  old  man  would  laugh  like  a  little  child.  His  gold 
was  the  joy  of  his  life. 

After  delving  in  this  treasure  to  his  heart's  content, 
the  old  man  gathered  the  gold  pieces  carefully  into  piles 
and  placed  them  in  the  box.  Then  he  blew  out  the  can- 
dle and  was  lost  in  the  darkness. 

The  neighbour  climbed  down  out  of  the  tree.  He  had 
solved  the  mystery  of  the  tinkling  house.  He  was  an 
honest  man  and  said  nothing.  But  gradually  others 
came  to  know  that  Pettit  distrusted  banks,  and  was  said 
to  keep  a  large  sum  of  money  in  his  house  or  buried  on 
his  farm. 

"  This  talk  spread  until,  in  the  country  round  about, 
Pettit  was  regarded  as  a  man  living  in  a  treasure 
house,"  says  Murray.  "  In  the  spring  of  1875,  before  I 
became  connected  with  the  Government,  Pettit  went  to 
Hamilton  with  a  lot  of  fat  cattle,  and  sold  them  for  a  good 
price.  He  was  spotted  ;  and  when  he  did  not  put  his 
money  in  a  bank,  the  spotters  made  sure  where  he  lived 
and  let  him  go  unmolested.  A  few  nights  later  a  waggon 
drove  up  to  a  dark  spot  near  the  Pettit  house.     Four 


WELLINGTON  SQUARE  91 

masked  men  alighted.  They  went  on  foot  to  the  Pettit 
house  and  knocked  upon  the  door.  The  old  man  an- 
swered the  knock,  and  when  he  opened  the  door  they 
knocked  him  down,  while  his  son  ran  out  of  the  house 
and  across  fields,  and  hid  in  the  woods  a  mile  away. 
They  ransacked  the  house,  discovered  the  box,  and 
emptied  out  the  gold.  There  was  $10,500  in  gold.  De- 
spite the  old  man's  pleadings  they  took  the  gold  and 
went  away. 

"  The  old  man  raised  a  great  hubbub  and  four  men 
were  arrested  in  Hamilton,  taken  before  a  police  magis- 
trate and  promptly  acquitted.  They  were  very  highly 
connected  and  a  large  number  of  the  leading  lawyers  ap- 
peared for  them.  The  affair  ran  along  until  November, 
1875.  Politics  had  become  mixed  up  in  it,  some  alleging 
that  the  reason  the  men  were  not  prosecuted  was,  that 
their  friends  had  a  large  amount  of  political  influence. 
No  doubt  they  had.  Finally  a  demand  was  made  on  the 
Department  of  Justice  to  have  the  matter  investigated.  I 
had  become  connected  with  the  Department  in  July,  and 
when  the  complaint  came  in  I  was  instructed  to  take  the 
matter  up.  I  knew  at  the  outset  that,  owing  to  certain 
matters,  I  could  not  look  for  much  assistance  in  Hamil- 
ton. Every  detective  must  expect  such  conditions  oc- 
casionally to  confront  him.  So  must  men  in  other  busi- 
nesses. Friendships  are  friendships,  and  business  is 
business,  and  there  may  be  times  when  the  ties  of  one  are 
as  strong  as  the  rules  of  the  other. 

"  I  set  out  to  learn  what  became  of  the  gold.  I  learned 
that  some  of  it  had  appeared  in  Brantford  the  morning 
after  the  robbery,  so  it  was  probable  the  robbers  had 
gone  to  Brantford  and  divided  it.  My  suspicions  were 
correct.  They  had  divided  the  booty  in  Brantford  and 
had  bought  wine  there.  I  learned  also  that  they  had 
hired  the  waggon  in  Hamilton.  I  got  track  of  one  of 
the  four  men  in  the  United  States.  He  was  a  professional 
burglar  and  thief.  He  has  reformed  since,  and  now  is 
living  in  Buffalo,  and  I  would  be  quite  as  ready  to  trust 
him  as  a  lot  of  other  people  who  lay  strenuous  claim  to 
respectability.     I  had  known  him  of  old,  and  had  landed 


92       MEMOIRS  OF  A  GREAT  DETECTIVE 

him  for  seven  years  once.  That  was  long  before  he  re- 
formed. He  had  his  share  in  the  Pettit  gold,  for  he  had 
done  his  part  in  the  Pettit  robbery. 

"  I  learned,  by  tracing  the  gold  in  various  places  where 
it  was  spent,  that  the  chief  figure  in  the  robbery  was 
Charles  Mills,  of  Hamilton.  He  was  highly  connected 
with  leading  people  and  had  gone  to  Texas.  He  was 
far  from  being  a  poor  man,  having  $50,000  or  so,  and,  in 
addition,  a  rich  old  aunt,  who  was  expected  to  leave  him 
a  fortune.  I  planned  various  ways  to  get  him  back  into 
Canada,  but  none  worked.  Finally,  I  got  track  of  a  girl 
in  Hamilton,  named  Lil  White,  of  whom  he  was  very 
fond.  I  had  scoured  the  country  for  miles  around  in 
hunt  of  gold  that  had  been  spent  and  in  search  of  infor- 
mation about  Mills.  I  heard  of  the  White  girl  through 
an  acquaintance  of  Mills,  and  through  Lil  White  I  put 
up  a  job  on  Mills,  and  lured  him  back  to  Canada.  I 
caught  him  in  Hamilton  on  Sunday  night,  December 
1 2th,  1875.  I  convicted  him,  too.  Among  the  witnesses 
was  Detective  Patrick  Mack  of  Buffalo,  and  I  traced 
where  they  spent  some  of  the  gold  there. 

"  The  case,  of  course,  attracted  considerable  attention, 
because  of  the  influence  of  the  friends  of  some  of  those 
involved.  The  late  B.  B.  Osier,  then  County  Crown  At- 
torney in  Hamilton,  prosecuted.  The  prisoners  were  de- 
fended ably  by  William  Laidlaw,  K.  C,  of  Hamilton,  now 
of  Toronto,  and  by  the  present  Judge  Robertson.  Mills 
was  convicted  of  robbery  on  January  14th,  1876,  at 
Milton,  and  was  sentenced  to  five  years'  imprisonment. 
Subsequently  he  was  pardoned  through  the  efforts  of  po- 
litical friends.  Politics  cut  no  figure  in  the  conviction, 
but  it  did  in  the  pardon.  Mills  demanded  a  speedy  trial 
instead  of  a  trial  by  jury,  and  he  was  tried  by  the  County 
judge  without  a  jury.  In  Canada  you  can  waive  the  right 
of  a  jury  trial  and  demand  what  is  termed  a  speedy  trial. 
The  Act  was  just  passed  at  that  time. 

"  After  the  trial  and  sentence,  old  man  Pettit  began  an 
action  against  the  Mills  estate  for  the  $10,500  of  his  gold 
that  had  been  stolen.  He  got  a  judgment,  and  collected 
all  the  money  with  interest.     Then  he  began  an  action 


ON  CALEDONIA  ROAD  93 

against  his  own  lawyer  for  overcharging,  and  he  beat 
him,  too. 

"  Pettit  was  a  man  of  deep-set  characteristics.  I  remem- 
ber that,  when  I  set  to  work  on  the  case  for  him,  I  went 
to  his  house  at  Wellington  Square,  and  went  over  the 
ground.  From  there  I  desired  to  go  to  Milton  nine 
miles  away. 

" '  I  will  drive  you  over,'  said  old  man  Pettit. 

"  '  Thank  you,'  said  I. 

"  He  hitched  up  a  horse  and  drove  me  the  nine  miles 
to  Milton.  When  we  arrived  at  Milton  I  alighted,  thank- 
ing him,  and  bade  him  good-day. 

"  « Just  a  minute,'  said  he.     '  I'd  like  #1.75,  please.' 

"  «  What  for  ?  '  said  I. 

" '  For  driving  you  over,'  said  he. 

" '  But  I  am  working  on  your  case,'  said  I. 

" '  I  know  that,'  said  he, '  so  I  used  my  son's  rig  and 
the  bill  is  #1.75.' 

"  I  paid  it.  If  he  had  made  it  $2  he  could  have  put 
it  into  gold." 


XVII 

THE  DRIVERLESS  TEAM  ON  CALEDONIA  ROAD 

A  long  road  of  many  turnings  leads  out  of  the  town 
of  Caledonia,  fifty-five  miles  beyond  Toronto,  and  winds 
its  way  through  the  county  of  Haldimand.  In  parts  it  is 
broad  and  open,  and  in  parts  it  is  narrow  and  shaded. 
One  evening,  in  December,  1875,  a  waggon  drawn  by 
two  horses,  moved  out  this  road.  No  driver  was  visible. 
The  horses  jogged  along  of  their  own  accord,  the  reins 
hanging  loose  from  the  seat  and  flapping  as  the  horses 
went  their  way.  Some  cows  passed,  and  the  horses 
turned  out  to  give  them  part  of  the  road.  Then  on  they 
went  as  if  a  driver  handled  the  reins.  Night  fell,  and  in 
the  darkness  the  waggon  rumbled  on.  Lights  flashed  out 
in  farmhouses  along  the  way  and  voices  were  heard  in 


94       MEMOIRS  OF  A  GREAT  DETECTIVE 

the  darkness.  The  driverless  team  plodded  on  until  they 
came  to  a  broad  pathway  of  light  shining  out  across  the 
highway  through  the  open  door  of  a  farmhouse,  standing 
close  by  the  road. 

The  team  stopped  in  this  light.  A  dog  rushed  out, 
sniffed  at  the  horses,  then  at  the  waggon,  and  fell  to 
barking  furiously.  A  farmer  appeared  in  the  doorway, 
and  shouted  to  the  dog  to  be  silent.  He  saw  the  team 
standing  in  the  light,  and  called  out  a  cheery  good-night. 
There  was  no  answer.  The  dog  whined,  and  ran  to  and 
fro,  and  darted  out  to  the  waggon,  and  began  barking 
again,  more  excitedly  than  before.  The  farmer,  standing 
in  the  doorway,  shaded  his  eyes  with  his  hand  and  peered 
out  into  the  night. 

"  Anything  wrong?  "  he  called  towards  the  waggon. 

No  answer  came.  He  called  again.  When  no  one 
answered  he  walked  down  to  the  waggon,  looked  it  over, 
saw  no  one,  then  stepped  up  on  the  hub  of  a  wheel,  and 
looked  in  to  see  what  load  it  carried.  All  he  saw  was  a 
big,  black  bundle  lying  in  the  bed  of  the  waggon  beneath 
the  seat.  He  called  to  those  in  the  house,  and  they  took 
a  lantern  to  him.  He  held  it  over  the  waggon  bed,  and 
the  bundle  took  the  form  of  a  man,  doubled  over.  The 
farmer  clambered  into  the  waggon,  set  the  lantern  beside 
the  figure,  undoubled  it,  and  took  the  man's  head  in  his 
hands.  An  ugly  wound  was  slashed  across  the  head. 
The  body  had  a  faint  warmth,  but  the  eyes  were  dim- 
ming fast,  and,  as  the  farmer  held  the  injured  head,  the 
eyes  glazed,  the  jaw  set,  and  death  came. 

The  dead  man  was  a  stranger  to  the  farmer.  He  car- 
ried the  body  into  his  house,  and  sent  for  doctors,  who 
came  and  found  the  unknown  dead.  The  team  and 
waggon  were  not  recognised  by  any  one  who  looked  at 
them.  The  dead  man  was  past  fifty  years  of  age,  evi- 
dently a  well-to-do  farmer  of  the  better  type.  There 
was  nothing  in  his  belongings  to  identify  him.  A  strange 
team  had  come  jogging  out  of  the  darkness  with  a  dying 
stranger,  halted  in  the  light,  and  waited  for  death  to  over- 
take him. 

Murray,  who  had  been  busy  on  the  evidence  in  the 


ON  CALEDONIA  ROAD  95 

Findlay  and  Pettit  cases,  as  well  as  travelling  from  one  end 
to  another  of  the  province  on  various  other  matters,  was 
notified  through  the  Department  of  Justice  by  telegraph, 
and  straightway  went  to  the  place  where  the  stranger 
lay  dead. 

"  To  learn  who  he  was,  of  course,  was  the  first  thing," 
says  Murray.  "  The  country  folk  gathered  rapidly  for 
miles  around,  and  soon  there  were  several  who  knew 
him.  He  was  Abel  McDonald,  a  prosperous  farmer, 
who  lived  in  the  township  of  Walpole,  about  eighteen 
miles  away.  There  were  some  bags  in  the  waggon,  and 
the  team  had  been  travelling  on  the  road  leading  out  of 
Caledonia.  A  tour  of  the  town  of  Caledonia  resulted  in 
learning  that  the  old  man  had  driven  into  town  on  the 
day  of  his  death,  with  a  load  of  wheat,  had  sold  it,  and 
started  home  at  twilight.  He  had  about  $35  with  him 
when  he  last  was  seen  in  Caledonia.  No  money  was 
found  on  him  or  in  his  waggon.  An  inquest  was  held, 
but  no  evidence  of  value  had  developed. 

"  The  fact  that  Caledonia  was  a  little  place,  where 
everybody  knew  everybody,  aided  me.  I  set  out  to  ac- 
count for  the  whereabouts  of  almost  everybody  in  or 
around  Caledonia  about  the  time  of  the  murder.  I  went 
from  house  to  house,  talking  to  every  one.  Finally  I 
learned  that  John  Young  and  William  James  Young,  his 
nephew,  two  farmers  with  none  too  good  a  reputation, 
who  lived  in  the  township  of  Ancaster,  over  the  moun- 
tain five  or  six  miles  from  Hamilton,  were  among  the 
people  seen  on  this  road  on  the  day  of  the  murder. 
John  Young  was  about  thirty-five  years  old,  a  big,  burly, 
powerful  fellow,  and  William  James  Young,  his  nephew, 
was  about  twenty-two  years  old,  and  a  well-built,  good- 
looking  young  fellow.  I  found  a  man  who  knew  them, 
who  had  seen  them  going  out  the  road  before  McDonald 
started  home,  and  I  found  other  witnesses  who  had  seen 
them  later  coming  back  along  this  road,  walking. 

"  The  two  Youngs  went  with  two  Barber  girls  in  Cale- 
donia, and  were  at  their  house  after  they  were  seen 
coming  back  on  the  Walpole  road.  It  was  slim  evidence 
on  which  to  arrest  them,  but  it  was  wiser  to  get  them 


96       MEMOIRS  OF  A  GREAT  DETECTIVE 

into  gaol,  so  they  were  arrested.  When  arraigned  before 
Magistrate  John  Scott  they  laughed  and  scoffed  at  the 
evidence.  In  truth,  we  had  barely  enough  evidence  to 
commit  them  for  trial.  But  we  had  enough,  although 
none  to  spare,  and  they  were  held.  I  saw  I  had  an 
uphill  job.  The  Barber  girls  were  prepared  to  swear  that 
the  Youngs  were  with  them,  and  could  not  have  been 
near  the  scene  of  the  murder.  I  went  over  the  road  foot 
by  foot.  I  found  the  club  used  to  kill  McDonald.  It 
was  hid  under  a  fence.  I  found  also  the  sapling  from 
which  it  had  been  cut.  In  fact,  it  was  a  young  tree  about 
two  inches  in  diameter,  and  I  had  both  the  roots  of  the 
tree  and  the  club  itself  in  court  at  the  trial.  I  had  the 
road  surveyed,  and  the  scene  of  the  murder  located  ex- 
actly. This  was  all  very  good,  but  it  was  not  enough 
to  convict  the  Youngs  beyond  any  doubt  in  a  jury's  mind. 

"  So  I  sent  over  to  Buffalo  in  New  York  State,  and 
brought  over  a  friend  of  mine,  Hugh  Massey  a  former 
member  of  the  Buffalo  police  force.  I  got  Massey  before 
Major  Hugh  Stewart,  then  warden  of  the  county  and 
justice  of  the  peace,  and  had  him  committed  to  gaol  for 
sixty  days.  He  was  locked  up  in  a  cell  near  the  Youngs, 
and  in  due  time  he  ingratiated  himself  into  their  confi- 
dence. I  had  studied  the  Youngs,  and  had  come  to  the 
conclusion  that  a  clever  man,  if  unsuspected,  could  draw 
their  story  from  them.  I  was  right.  Massey  got  the 
whole  story  out  of  them.  They  told  him  how  they  had 
been  in  Caledonia,  and  had  seen  the  old  man  with  his 
money,  how  they  went  out  the  road  ahead  of  him,  how 
John  cut  the  club,  with  the  knife  found  on  him  when  he 
was  arrested,  how  they  waited  about  two  and  a  half  miles 
from  the  town,  how  they  jumped  on  McDonald's  waggon 
when  he  drove  along,  how  John  struck  him  over  the 
head  with  the  club,  how  they  robbed  him,  left  him  in  the 
bottom  of  the  waggon,  started  the  horses,  jumped  out, 
and  returned  to  Caledonia.  I  had  Mr.  Lawrence,  gov- 
ernor of  the  gaol,  and  the  turnkey  to  hear  the  story. 

"The  trial  occurred  in  March,  1876,  before  Judge 
Adam  Wilson,  at  Cayuga.  John  Idington,  now  County 
Crown  Attorney  of  Stratford,  prosecuted,  and  Attorney 


ON  CALEDONIA  ROAD  97 

Duff,  of  Hamilton,  defended.  It  was  a  long,  tedious  case. 
They  sought  to  prove  an  alibi  by  the  Barber  girls,  just  as 
I  expected.  The  Crown  swore  over  eighty  witnesses, 
and  we  disproved  the  alibi.  Massey,  on  the  stand,  told 
his  story  in  such  a  straightforward  way  that,  not  only  the 
jury,  but  every  one  who  heard  him,  believed  him.  Late 
on  the  night  of  March  27th,  1876,  the  jury  brought  in  a 
verdict  of  guilty.  Both  Youngs  were  sentenced  to  be 
hanged.  John  Young  was  a  desperate  man,  and  after 
the  sentence  the  governor  of  the  gaol  was  instructed  to 
put  a  special  guard  over  the  two  men,  to  make  sure  they 
would  not  escape.  The  governor  was  a  well-meaning 
and  honourable  old  fellow,  but  he  had  an  idea  he  knew 
his  business  better  than  any  one  could  tell  him.  Sure 
enough,  the  Youngs  broke  goal  and  got  away.  The 
question  was,  who  was  responsible  ?  I  was  instructed  to 
investigate,  in  connection  with  the  inspector  of  prisons. 
Governor  Lawrence  was  removed.  In  those  days  the 
sheriff  had  the  appointment  of  gaolers,  but  now  the  Gov- 
ernment appoints  them. 

"  The  Youngs  made  their  way  by  night  to  some  re- 
mote place,  beyond  reach  of  those  who  tried  to  find 
them.  I  immediately  thought  of  the  Barber  girls,  and 
sent  word  to  watch  them.  They  were  seen  going  to  a 
thick  wood  some  distance  from  Caledonia.  They  went 
to  meet  the  Youngs,  who  had  secreted  themselves  in  an 
old  barn  in  the  woods.  This  barn  was  filled  to  the  top 
with  hay.  The  Hamilton  police  were  notified,  and  they 
went  out  to  the  barn,  and,  after  a  stubborn  revolver  fight, 
captured  the  Youngs,  and  they  were  taken  back  to  Cayuga 
gaol." 

In  September,  1876,  Murray  went  to  Philadelphia,  for 
a  month  at  the  Centennial,  where  James  Tilley,  of  New 
York,  was  chief  of  the  detective  department  at  the 
Exposition.  Tilley  was  a  fast  friend  of  Murray,  and  had 
been  endeavouring  to  have  him  join  the  corps  of  de- 
tectives, culled  from  all  over  the  country,  and  stay  during 
the  entire  Centennial,  but  Murray  was  so  busy  in  Canada 
that  the  Government  spared  him  for  only  one  month, 
September. 


98        MEMOIRS  OF  A  GREAT  DETECTIVE 

"  While  I  was  in  Philadelphia,  on  September  21st, 
1876,  John  Young  was  hanged  at  Cayuga,"  says  Murray, 
"  and  James  Young's  sentence  was  commuted  to  im- 
prisonment for  life.  Sixteen  years  later  I  was  in  Cale- 
donia one  pleasant  afternoon  on  a  matter,  and  had  to 
wait  an  hour  for  a  train.  I  strolled  over  the  big  bridge 
across  the  grand  river,  while  waiting  for  the  train.  In 
the  middle  of  the  bridge  stood  a  man,  gazing  into  the 
water  flowing  beneath.  I  got  just  a  side  glance  of  him 
as  he  turned  his  head  away,  but  I  said  to  myself :  '  If 
James  Young  was  not  in  the  Penitentiary  that  would  be 
he.'  I  turned  back  and  looked  at  him.  He  walked  away. 
I  went  back  to  my  hotel,  and  said  to  the  landlord,  '  If  I 
did  not  know  James  Young  was  in  the  Penitentiary  I 
would  swear  I  saw  him  on  the  bridge.' 

"  '  Yes,'  said  the  landlord, '  he's  pardoned,  and  is  around 
looking  at  the  old  familiar  places  for  the  first  time  in  many 
years.' 

" '  I  am  sorry  not  to  have  talked  to  him,'  said  I,  and  if 
my  train  had  not  been  almost  due  I  would  have  gone 
back  and  had  a  chat  with  him,  for  he  seemed  lonely." 


XVIII 
APROPOS  OF  HUNKER  CHISHOLM 

When  Murray  arrived  in  Toronto  his  attention  was 
called  to  a  series  of  horse-stealings  occurring  in  several 
adjoining  counties.  None  but  the  finest  horses  dis- 
appeared. 

"  I  went  to  investigate,"  says  Murray,  "  and  I  met  one 
of  the  most  picturesque  old  crooks  I  ever  became  ac- 
quainted with.  His  name  was  Chisholm,  George  Chis- 
holm,  called  by  some  of  his  friends,  Hunker.  He  was  an 
inveterate  horse  thief.  He  simply  could  not  help  it.  In 
the  many  years  I  knew  him  he  never  stole  anything  else, 
but  out  of  sixty  years  of  life  he  spent  about  forty  years  in 
prison,  all  for  stealing  horses. 


APROPOS  OF  HUNKER  CHISHOLM        99 

"  Chisholm  stole  horses  to  order.  Sometimes  he  would 
read  the  papers  for  advertisements  of  men  who  wanted  to 
buy  horses.  He  would  cut  out  the  description  of  a  horse, 
go  around  the  country  hunting  for  an  animal  to  match 
the  description,  and  when  he  found  such  a  horse  he  would 
steal  it  and  go  and  sell  it  to  the  man  who  advertised. 
Sometimes  he  would  spot  or  locate  a  fine  horse,  and  would 
go  and  look  him  over  carefully.  Then  he  would  go  to  some 
other  county  and  hunt  for  a  purchaser.  He  would 
describe  the  horse  exactly  as  he  was,  and  if  the  pros- 
pective purchaser  seemed  pleased  and  told  him  to  bring 
the  horse  around,  Chisholm  would  disappear,  steal  the 
horse,  and  in  a  few  days  reappear  and  sell  him.  He 
never  stole  anything  else.  He  never  was  a  born  burglar 
except  for  horses.  He  never  robbed  a  house.  He  simply 
was  a  horse  thief.  From  time  to  time  he  would  get 
caught  and  sent  down  to  a  stiff  term,  but  at  its  expiration 
he  would  bob  up  serenely,  and  horses  would  begin  to 
disappear  again. 

"  When  I  was  investigating  the  horse  thefts  I  recalled 
that  a  tailor  named  Spellman  had  been  arrested  in  the 
town  of  Vienna,  in  the  county  of  Elgin,  and  accused  of 
arson.  The  chief  witnesses  against  him  were  Chisholm 
and  an  acquaintance  of  his  named  Bloom.  He  was  con- 
victed chiefly  on  their  evidence,  and  was  sentenced  to 
seven  years  in  the  Penitentiary.  I  heard  about  it  and 
made  inquiries,  and  satisfied  myself  that  Spellman  was 
innocent.  I  interested  County  Judge  Hughes,  and  finally 
had  the  tailor  pardoned,  after  he  served  a  considerable 
length  of  time.  Meanwhile  Chisholm  had  landed  back  in 
the  clutches  of  the  law  himself.  The  same  old  charge 
was  against  him — horse-stealing.  He  was  convicted  and 
sentenced  under  another  name. 

"  About  this  time  the  Government  began  to  receive 
letters  regularly  from  an  inmate  of  the  Penitentiary 
regarding  crimes  that  had  been  committed.  A  day  or 
two  after  any  big  burglary  or  murder  or  other  crime 
occurred,  a  letter  would  come  from  Kingston  Penitentiary 
offering  to  reveal  the  names  of  the  perpetrators.  In  1876 
an  obstruction  was  placed  on  the  tracks  of  the  Canada 


ioo     MEMOIRS  OF  A  GREAT  DETECTIVE 

Southern  Railroad,  and  in  the  wreck  that  followed 
Engineer  Billy  Hunt  was  killed.  Three  days  later  came 
a  letter  to  the  Government,  and  a  letter  also  to  the  solicitor 
of  the  Canada  Southern,  signed  James  Clark,  from  the 
correspondent  in  Kingston  Penitentiary.  Both  letters 
were  turned  over  to  me.  Clark  offered  to  reveal  the 
names  and  get  the  evidence  to  convict  those  who  did  the 
job.  I  told  the  Government  officials  that  I  did  not  be- 
lieve the  letter,  but  I  went  to  Kingston  and  the  warden 
sent  for  James  Clark.  Who  walked  in  but  old  Chisholm  ! 
I  looked  at  him  as  he  hopped  blithesomely  along,  and  I 
could  hardly  keep  from  laughing. 

"  '  What  is  your  name  ?  '  I  asked. 

"  '  James  Clark,'  said  he. 

" '  This  is  your  correspondence  ? '  I  asked,  producing 
various  letters  to  the  Government  on  numerous  cases. 

"  '  Yes,  I  wrote  them,'  said  he. 

" '  Chisholm,'  said  I,  '  you  are  as  big  a  fraud  as  you 
ever  were.' 

"  Old  Chisholm  stared  with  open  mouth.  Then  he 
slapped  me  on  the  shoulder. 

"  '  Murray,  be  a  man  !  Be  a  man  ! '  he  said.  '  Liberty 
is  sweet.     Don't  betray  me.' 

"  '  Chisholm,'  said  I,  *  I  could  forgive  you  everything 
if  you  had  not  sent  Spellman,  the  tailor,  to  the  Penitenti- 
ary for  burning  that  barn,  when  you  know  he  didn't  do  it.' 

" '  Oh  no,  oh  no.  He  did  do  it,'  insisted  the  lying  old 
rascal. 

" '  Well,  Chisholm,  I  intend  to  put  a  stop  to  your 
writing  all  over  the  country  with  these  bunko  letters,' 
said  I.  <  I'll  tell  the  warden  not  to  send  out  any  more  of 
them.  Try  to  get  pardoned  some  other  way,  but  stop 
trying  to  put  up  jobs  to  land  innocent  men  in  prison 
simply  in  hope  of  getting  yourself  out.' 

"  Old  Chisholm  looked  at  me  sadly. 

"  '  And  to  think,  I  thought  you  were  a  man,  Murray,' 
he  said.  '  I  honestly  thought  you  were  a  man.  Here 
am  I,  in  prison,  giving  you  a  chance  to  be  a  man  and  get 
me  out,  and  you  won't  take  it.  Well,  well,  Murray.  I'm 
disappointed  in  you.' 


THE  WHITESIDES  OF  BALLINAFAD      101 

"  I  left  him  wagging  his  head  in  seeming  sorrow.  But 
he  did  not  stop  writing  letters.  He  wrote  as  before,  im- 
mediately after  hearing  of  a  crime.  Nothing  was  done  any- 
where in  the  criminal  line,  but  old  Chisholm,  upon  hear- 
ing of  it,  wrote  a  letter  stating  he  knew  the  very  man  or 
men  who  did  it.  He  always  added  a  postscript  after  my 
visit.     It  read  :  '  Don't  tell  Murray  about  this.' 

"  He  got  out  when  his  term  expired.  He  stole  some 
more  horses  and  promptly  went  back  again.  When  ar- 
raigned and  asked  to  state  his  residence,  Chisholm  an- 
swered :  '  The  Penitentiary.'  In  truth  he  spent  two- 
thirds  of  his  sixty  years  there.  Even  then,  he  was  away 
from  home  about  ten  years  too  much.  A  man  like 
Hunker  Chisholm  should  stay  at  home  indoors  about 
fifty  out  of  sixty  years. 

"  I  met  later  an  old,  old  man  who  had  been  Chisholm's 
teacher  in  his  boyhood.  He  told  me  that  at  school 
Chisholm  stole  slate  pencils  from  every  one.  He  stole 
nothing  but  slate  pencils.  When  kept  in  after  school  or 
about  to  be  punished  he  invariably  informed  the  school- 
master that  there  was  a  plot  on  foot  among  some  of  the 
other  pupils  to  do  mischief,  and  if  he  was  not  punished 
he  would  tell  who  the  plotters  were.  This  worked  at 
first,  and  several  times  innocent  boys  were  punished,  just 
as  the  innocent  tailor,  Spellman,  was  sent  to  prison. 
But  eventually  the  schoolmaster  got  on  to  Chisholm,  al- 
though Chisholm  kept  it  up  to  his  last  day  of  school  life. 
The  slate  pencils  of  his  boyhood  symbolised  the  horses 
of  his  manhood.'' 


XIX 

THE  WHITESIDES  OF  BALLINAFAD 

Murray's  first  year  with  the  Canada  Government  won 
for  him  the  praise  of  those  in  authority.  He  had  con- 
victed the  guilty,  despite  powerful  influences  exerted  to 
acquit  them  ;  he  had  established  throughout  the  Province 
the  understanding  that  a  man  who  committed  a  crime 


102     MEMOIRS  OF  A  GREAT  DETECTIVE 

and  fled,  would  be  followed  and  brought  back  and  pun- 
ished. He  had  failed  in  no  case ;  he  had  solved  every 
mystery  arising ;  and  perpetrators  of  crimes  had  been 
brought  to  justice. 

"  There  were  many  more  cases  than  those  I  have  men- 
tioned," says  Murray.  "  I  was  busy  day  in  and  day  out; 
ever  on  the  go ;  always  working.  I  remember  in  Au- 
gust, 1876,  just  after  my  first  year  had  been  rounded  out, 
I  sat  down  to  look  over  again  my  records  for  the  year, 
when  a  telegram  told  of  the  Ballinafad  murder." 

Ballinafad  was  a  mite  of  a  hamlet  in  the  township  of 
Esquesing,  county  of  Halton,  near  Georgetown,  about 
forty  miles  from  Toronto.  On  the  finest  timber-tract  in 
that  part  of  the  country  lived  John  Whiteside,  an  old 
man  in  his  sixty-eighth  year.  He  was  regarded  as  a 
miser.  Instead  of  gold,  land  was  his  god.  All  that  he 
could  rake  or  scrape  or  get  together  went  to  buy  land. 
He  worshipped  his  timber.  He  would  walk  through  his 
woods,  rubbing  his  hands  and  chuckling.  He  would  sit 
by  the  base  of  a  big  tree,  his  cheek  pressed  affectionately 
against  its  trunk.  He  would  fall  prone  upon  the  earth 
with  limbs  outstretched  and  murmur :  "  Mine,  mine, 
mine." 

"  Sometimes  he  would  pause  and  pat  a  tree  as  if  it 
were  a  little  child,"  says  Murray.  "  A  broken  bough 
caused  him  as  much  distress  as  if  a  child  had  broken  a 
limb.  His  forest  was  his  family,  and  his  trees  were  his 
little  ones.  He  loved  them.  Sometimes  in  the  night, 
when  the  wind  was  moaning  in  the  tree-tops,  or  the  for- 
est was  swaying  in  the  song  of  the  gale,  the  old  man 
would  steal  out  of  the  house,  bareheaded,  and  listen  as  if 
the  wind-music  were  a  lullaby. 

"  He  had  a  wife,  and  sons  and  daughters.  He  seemed 
to  be  so  engrossed  in  his  timber  and  his  land  that  he 
gave  little  heed  to  his  family.  A  number  of  his  children 
went  away,  leaving  his  wife  and  second  son,  Harry,  and 
a  daughter  at  home.  It  was  alleged  that  the  old  man 
barely  permitted  them  to  have  the  actual  necessaries  of 
life.  He  had  his  house  in  a  little  clearing,  with  his  tim- 
ber towering  all  around. 


THE  WHITESIDES  OF  BALLINAFAD      103 

"  One  night  he  stepped  outside,  as  he  had  done  so 
often.  It  was  a  black  night.  He  did  not  return.  A 
neighbour,  passing  in  the  dim  dawn,  hailed  the  house, 
and  when  the  family  opened  the  door  they  saw  the  old 
man  lying  near  by,  dead.  His  head  had  been  chopped 
open  with  a  single  blow,  followed  by  others,  in  the  dark. 
The  axe  was  found  near  by,  with  some  of  his  grey  hairs 
on  it. 

"  The  son  Harry  was  arrested,  and  I  also  arrested  the 
wife,  Harry's  mother.  At  the  inquest  they  gave  evi- 
dence that  the  dogs  barked  in  the  night,  the  old  man 
went  out  and  did  not  come  back,  and  that  was  all  they 
knew  about  it.  The  magistrate  remanded  them  from 
time  to  time,  and  they  were  held  in  Milton  gaol  for  a 
considerable  period. 

"  It  was  a  difficult  case,  and  there  was  not  sufficient 
evidence  for  conviction  then.  I  called  from  time  to  time 
to  see  them.  On  one  of  my  visits,  as  I  approached  in 
the  corridor  I  heard  a  hacking  cough. 

" '  Who  is  that  ?  '  I  asked. 

"  '  Harry  Whiteside,'  was  the  reply. 

"  I  looked  him  over  more  carefully  than  on  previous 
visits.  His  eyes  were  bright,  and  in  each  cheek  a  pink 
spot  glowed.  I  saw  the  mother,  and  her  eyes  and  cheeks 
were  like  those  of  her  son.  Nothing  more  was  done  to- 
wards convicting  them.  They  were  released.  Quietly 
I  made  regular  trips  to  the  vicinity  of  their  place.  I 
could  hear  from  quite  a  distance  the  coughing — dry, 
hard,  and  hacking — of  the  son.  I  used  to  stand  a  mo- 
ment and  listen,  then  softly  go  away.  One  day  I  went 
and  waited,  and  heard  nothing.  I  drove  to  the  cemetery, 
and  he  was  there — asleep  forever. 

"  The  mother  lived  on.  I  had  gathered  together  what 
evidence  I  had  been  able  to  find,  and  I  held  it  pending  a 
series  of  occasional  visits  to  where  she  was  living.  I 
never  annoyed  her  by  my  presence.  I  could  stand  off 
some  distance  and  listen  and  learn  all  that  I  desired  to 
know.  Occasionally  I  would  get  a  glimpse  of  her  as  she 
appeared,  very  white  and  feeble,  by  the  door  in  a  big 
chair,  to  get  the  sunlight.     She  went  very  slowly,  far 


104     MEMOIRS  OF  A  GREAT  DETECTIVE 

more  deliberately  than  her  son.  He  had  galloped  from 
the  gaol  to  the  grave;  she  plodded  along  a  weary  way. 
But  at  last  she,  too,  ceased  coughing,  and  was  borne 
away. 

"  Consumption  had  killed  both  of  them.  The  Crown 
had  done  its  full  duty,  in  so  far  as  the  evidence  war- 
ranted. The  malady  was  hereditary  in  the  family,  and 
seized  violently  upon  both  mother  and  son  soon  after  the 
old  man  was  murdered.  I  visited  the  vicinity,  to  make 
sure  there  was  no  shamming,  and  to  ascertain  whether, 
on  the  eve  of  the  arrival  of  death,  any  farewell  word  was 
to  be  uttered.  I  remember  vividly  the  occasions  on 
which  I  stood  in  the  background  listening  while  mother 
and  son  coughed  their  lives  away." 


XX 

THE  MONAGHAN  MURDER 

Fence-rail  robberies  were  quite  a  fad  in  part  of  Can- 
ada early  in  1876.  The  robbers  selected  isolated  houses, 
in  the  farming  districts,  where  occupants  were  prosperous 
and  apt  to  have  money  on  the  premises.  In  the  night 
the  robbers  would  drive  up  near  the  house,  take  a  stout 
fence-rail,  batter  in  the  door,  with  loud  shouts,  terrify  the 
family  into  submission  and  ransack  the  rooms,  after 
threatening  the  family  with  death,  if  they  did  not  tell 
where  the  money  and  valuables  were  concealed.  The 
robbers  then  would  drive  away  with  their  plunder,  noti- 
fying the  family  they  would  return  and  shoot  them  like 
dogs  if  they  dared  to  give  an  alarm.  Old  folk  usually 
were  the  victims. 

"  In  March,  1876,"  says  Murray,  "  there  were  living  in 
the  township  of  Warwick,  county  of  Lambton,  two 
brothers,  Patrick  Monaghan  and  Michael  Monaghan, 
sturdy  old  Irishmen,  both  over  fifty,  and  within  a  few 
years  of  the  same  age.  They  were  bachelors,  prosper- 
ous  and  industrious.     Their  widowed  sister,  Mrs.  Mc- 


THE  MONAGHAN  MURDER  105 

Guire,  kept  house  for  them.  About  March  10th  a  big 
snowfall  came,  and  the  Monaghan  brothers  went  early  to 
bed  and  soon  were  asleep.  They  occupied  the  one  bed. 
An  old  rifle  hung  above  the  bed  on  the  wall.  It  had 
not  been  fired  for  over  five  years. 

"  A  crash  at  the  front  door  awakened  them  in  the  dead 
of  night.  It  was  followed  by  shouts  and  curses,  then  an- 
other crash,  and  the  front  door  banged  open  and  in  rushed 
three  strange  men. 

"  '  Get  down  on  your  knees  ! '  they  shouted  with  oaths. 

"  Michael  Monaghan  leaped  out  of  bed,  grabbed  the 
old  rifle  and  rushed  to  meet  them.  They  met  face  to 
face  in  the  big  room,  in  the  darkness  save  for  the  flash  of 
their  lantern.  They  saw  a  figure  in  white,  with  a  long 
rifle  pointed  at  them. 

" '  Stand  back  and  get  out ! '  commanded  the  figure. 

"  A  second  white  figure  with  an  axe  loomed  up  as 
Patrick  joined  Michael. 

" '  Out,  or  I'll  shoot ! '  said  Michael. 

"  A  revolver  spat  a  flash  of  flame  in  the  darkness. 
Michael  fell,  shot  through  the  leg.  The  robbers  fled. 
Patrick  bent  over  Michael. 

" '  Good-bye,  Pat,  I'm  done  for,'  said  Michael. 

"  The  bullet  had  cut  an  artery  in  Michael's  leg  and  he 
bled  to  death.  I  was  detailed  by  the  Government  at 
once.  I  drove  to  the  Monaghans,  and  there  I  tramped 
all  around  the  house  and  the  road  in  the  heavy  snow  of 
the  day  of  the  murder.  I  came  upon  the  track  of  a  cutter 
that  had  been  hitched  not  far  from  the  house.  No  neigh- 
bours had  hitched  a  cutter  there.  Tracks  led  from  it  to 
the  fence,  where  a  rail  had  been  taken,  and  thence  the 
tracks  led  to  the  Monaghan  house  and  then  back  to  the 
cutter. 

"  I  took  the  trail  of  the  cutter.  A  piece  evidently  had 
been  broken  out  of  the  shoe  of  the  cutter  for  it  left  a 
mark  on  the  snow  as  if  it  had  been  split.  I  observed 
also  a  peculiar  mark  in  the  print  of  a  foot  of  one  of  the 
horses.  Evidently  it  interfered  for  it  had  been  shod  so 
that  a  cross-bar  showed  singularly  on  the  shoe.  With 
these  two  marks  to  identify  the  trail,  I  started  at  once.    I 


106     MEMOIRS  OF  A  GREAT  DETECTIVE 

went  to  Brantford  and  followed  the  tracks  to  London,  to 
the  house  of  a  woman  known  as  Mary  Ann  Taylor.  I 
followed  also  the  tracks  of  the  cutter  as  it  drove  to  the 
Monaghan  farm  over  twenty-five  miles  from  London. 
In  Brantford  I  immediately  set  out  to  find  the  cutter.  In 
the  stable  of  Liveryman  Hewitt  I  found  a  Portland  cutter 
that  had  a  split  about  six  inches  long  in  the  hind  part  of 
the  shoe.  In  searching  the  cutter  we  found  the  shell  of 
a  cartridge  that  fitted  the  bullet  found  in  Monaghan's 
leg.  I  learned  that  three  men  hired  a  team  in  the  even- 
ing. They  wanted  two  good  travellers.  A  cross- 
matched pair,  one  white  and  one  black,  were  offered. 
They  objected  to  taking  the  white  horse,  and  a  dark  bay 
horse  was  substituted.  They  drove  that  night  to  Lon- 
don, over  forty  miles  away  and  the  horses  were  put  up  at 
Lewis's  Hotel  in  London. 

"  Mary  Ann  Taylor  had  no  information  to  give  me. 
Among  the  girls  who  lived  in  her  house  was  a  very  pretty 
German  girl  named  Polly  Ripple.  She  came  from  Brook- 
lyn in  the  State  of  New  York.  I  learned  that  three  men 
had  stopped  at  Mary  Ann  Taylor's  and  had  some  beer 
and  then  drove  on  along  the  road  that  led  to  Monaghan's. 
I  found  a  witness  who  saw  three  men  in  a  cutter  at 
Hickory  Corners,  a  few  miles  out  on  the  way.  On  the 
night  of  the  murder,  Polly  Ripple  was  late  for  the  mid- 
night meal  at  Mary  Ann  Taylor's,  and  she  said  Mary 
Ann  was  serving  three  men.  Polly  swore  she  saw  them 
and  heard  them  mimic  the  Irishmen,  Monaghan. 

"  '  Arrah,  Mike,  are  you  shot  ?  '  the  one  was  saying. 

"  '  Shure,  I  am,  Pat,'  said  another. 

"  The  upshot  of  all  my  work  was  the  arrest  in  London 
of  Daniel  McPhee  and  Robert  Murray,  and  the  arrest  in 
Brantford  on  May  15th,  1876,  of  Robert  Greeny.  On 
May  1 8th  they  were  committed  to  Sarnia  gaol  to  stand 
trial.  Before  the  trial,  Polly  Ripple  disappeared.  I  went 
to  her  old  home  in  Brooklyn  and  through  her  friends 
there  I  located  her  in  Rochester,  where  she  was  living 
with  a  Mrs.  Jennings.  I  went  to  Rochester  to  see  her, 
but  pretty  Polly  said  she  would  not  go  back  to  Canada 
for  all  the  diamonds  in  the  world.     I  could  not  take  her 


THE  MONAGHAN  MURDER  107 

back.  So  I  set  out  to  get  her  back  by  strategy.  I 
learned  the  name  of  a  young  fellow  in  Rochester  on 
whom  pretty  Polly  was  sweet.  I  quickly  got  in  with 
him  and  arranged  for  him  to  take  pretty  Polly  to  Niagara 
Falls  on  an  excursion.  When  they  arrived  at  the  Falls 
they  crossed  to  the  Canada  side  to  get  a  better  view  of 
the  cataract,  and  pretty  Polly  was  taken  in  charge  by  a 
respectable  woman  who  made  sure  she  would  be  present 
at  the  trial. 

"  Bob  Murray,  who  was  a  big  fine-looking  fellow,  of 
respectable  family,  got  out  on  bail  and  did  not  appear  for 
trial.  In  those  days  I  could  not  get  them  back  from  the 
States,  as  I  could  later.  At  the  trial  Arthur  Sturgis 
Hardy,  the  late  Premier  of  the  Province,  then  a  Queen's 
Counsel  and  a  Member  of  Parliament,  defended  the  pris- 
oners, and  the  present  Judge  MacMahon  was  prosecutor. 
Mr.  Hardy  and  I  had  quite  a  tiff  at  this  trial  and  it  was 
some  months  before  we  made  peace.  But  we  became 
good  friends  and  later  he  became  Attorney-General  and 
head  of  the  Department  of  Justice. 

"  When  pretty  Polly  Ripple  came  to  tell  her  story  on 
the  stand  I  cautioned  her  to  tell  the  truth,  the  naked 
truth.  She  did  not  vary  from  her  story  of  the  men  in 
Mary  Ann  Taylor's  and  she  saw  them  plainly  and  heard 
them  mimic  the  Monaghans.  Mr.  Hardy's  cross-exami- 
nation of  her  dealt  with  details  of  her  life  in  Mary  Ann 
Taylor's,  and  she  answered  truthfully  about  the  life  of 
shame,  and  some  of  its  particular  degradations,  and  the 
judge  became  disgusted.  I  pitied  poor,  pretty  Polly,  who 
told  the  naked  truth.  Greeny  and  McPhee  were  ac- 
quitted. Bob  Murray  was  not  tried,  as  he  was  shot  and 
killed  in  Port  Huron  by  a  fellow  named  Tom  Britton,  a 
brother  of  Royal  Britton.  Tom  Britton  was  not  con- 
victed for  the  shooting,  and  he,  too,  is  dead.  Dan  Mc- 
Phee went  to  Australia  ;  he  was  a  horseman.  Greeny  is 
a  hotel-keeper  in  the  United  States.  He  is  one  of  the 
men  in  this  world  who  do  not  feel  kindly  towards  me. 

"  After  the  Monaghan  affair  it  was  a  long  time  before 
I  heard  of  another  fence-rail  robbery,  and  it  was  not  in 
this  part  of  the  world  at  all.     So  far  as  Greeny  and  Mc- 


108     MEMOIRS  OF  A  GREAT  DETECTIVE 

Phee  were  concerned  their  acquittal  of  course  established, 
in  the  eyes  of  the  law,  their  innocence.  Pretty  Polly 
Ripple  went  back  to  the  United  States,  and  Mary  Ann 
Taylor  was  as  uncommunicative  in  after  years  as  she  was 
in  1876,  and  compared  with  Mary  Ann  at  that  time  an 
oyster  was  loquacious  and  a  clam  was  a  garrulous,  talk- 
ative thing." 


XXI 

THE  SIX-FOOT  NEEDHAMS :  FATHER  AND  SON 

While  Murray  was  trailing  the  cutter  in  the  Monaghan 
case  he  passed  on  the  road  near  London  a  swarthy  giant 
who  waved  to  him  as  he  vanished  in  the  woods.  He  was 
a  man  of  colossal  build,  over  six  feet  tall,  with  a  massive 
frame  and  huge  head  and  shoulders.  His  skin  was 
copper,  and  his  tread,  despite  his  great  size,  was  light  and 
panther-like.  His  hair  was  jet-black,  coarse  and  glossy. 
When  Murray  waved  in  response  the  man's  voice  called 
back  a  cheery  welcome,  followed  by  a  perfect  imitation 
of  the  barking  of  a  fox. 

"  He  was  young  Needham,"  says  Murray,  "  and  thereby 
hangs  a  tale  that  recurs  to  me  every  time  I  see  an  Indian 
who  is  fearless,  or  a  bully  that  is  beaten.  The  Need- 
hams,  father  and  son,  were  Indians.  Both  of  them  were 
giants  in  build  and  strength.  Either  one  of  them  could 
pick  up  a  two  hundred  pound  man,  and  toss  him  over 
the  fence  as  if  he  were  a  bag  of  buckwheat.  They  lived 
in  an  out-of-the-way  place  in  the  county  of  Elgin,  but 
roamed  all  over  that  part  of  Canada.  One  interesting 
feature  of  their  appearance  was  they  looked  so  much 
alike  that  many  people  mistook  them  for  one  another 
and  could  not  tell  them  apart.  In  fact,  they  looked  more 
like  twin  brothers  than  like  father  and  son.  Both  were 
superb  specimens  of  physical  manhood,  and  their  con- 
stant trudging  about  the  country  kept  their  muscles  hard 
as  steel. 


THE  SIX-FOOT  NEEDHAMS  109 

"  The  father  was  called  Doc  Needham.  He  was  not  a 
regular  practitioner,  but  was  an  Indian  herb  doctor.  A 
great  many  people  believed  in  his  medicines,  and  there 
were  tales  of  marvellous  cures  he  had  wrought.  One 
legend  was  that  with  three  drops  of  the  essence  of  a 
certain  root  he  had  restored  to  life  a  man  who  was  about 
to  be  buried.  The  son  helped  the  father.  He  dug  roots 
and  gathered  herbs,  and  kept  the  medicine  pot  boiling, 
and  accompanied  his  father  on  some  of  his  trips  around 
the  country,  particularly  to  county  fairs.  They  came  to 
be  a  feature  at  these  fairs  and  their  fame  spread  far  and 
wide.  Sometimes  they  drew  crowds  for  their  medicine- 
sellings,  by  short  exhibitions,  in  which  the  father  and  son 
both  displayed,  in  small  degree,  the  great  strength  they 
possessed.  They  were  a  peaceable  pair  and  never  sought 
trouble. 

"  At  the  township  fair  in  Wallace,  county  of  Elgin,  in 
1874,  the  Needhams  were  present  with  their  supply  of 
herbs.  Crowds  gathered  to  see  their  exhibition  and  to 
buy  their  medicines.  Among  those  at  the  fair  was  Harry 
Fitzsimmons,  a  big  fellow,  built  like  a  bull,  with  thick 
neck  and  deep  chest  and  heavy  head.  He  claimed  to  be 
a  fighter,  and  prided  himself  he  could  lick  any  man  in 
the  county.  He  had  a  boon  companion  with  him  that 
day,  George  Lipsey.  Lipsey  was  something  of  a  fighter 
himself,  but  deferred  to  Fitzsimmons  as  the  king  of  the 
county  when  it  came  to  a  fight.  Fitz  was  bent  on  trouble. 
He  thrashed  that  day  two  or  three  husky  country  fellows 
who  had  thought  they  could  fight.  Then,  flushed  with 
his  easy  victories  and  a  stranger  to  defeat,  he  came  upon 
the  Needhams,  father  and  son,  busy  with  their  medicines. 
Fitz's  brow  clouded.  He  had  heard  of  the  Needhams 
and  their  feats  of  strength  until  he  was  sick  of  the  tales 
of  their  prowess.  He  would  show  the  countryside  that 
Fitzsimmons  was  master.  He  tried  to  pick  a  fight.  The 
Needhams  ignored  him.  Fitz  and  Lipsey  grew  boister- 
ous and  the  Needhams  moved  away.  They  followed. 
Young  Needham  could  be  seen  speaking  earnestly  to  his 
father,  who  shook  his  head  sternly.  Fitz  and  Lipsey 
persisted  in  annoying  the  pair,  and  at  last  Doc  Needham 


no     MEMOIRS  OF  A  GREAT  DETECTIVE 

nodded  to  his  son.  Young  Needham  doffed  his  coat  and 
slipped  over  to  within  ten  feet  of  Fitz  and  Lipsey.  Fitz 
spied  him  and  bore  down  upon  him  with  a  rush.  The 
crowd  fell  back  and  the  strong  arm  of  Doc  Needham 
drew  Lipsey  back  as  if  he  were  a  child,  and  kept  him  out 
of  the  fray.  It  was  a  fight  for  gods  and  men.  Young 
Needham,  light-footed  and  graceful,  played  around  the 
bull-like  Fitz,  dodging  his  blows,  evading  his  rushes, 
until  with  sudden  swoop  of  arms  and  stiffening  of  body 
he  seized  Fitz,  banged  him  upon  the  earth  with  terrific 
thud,  then  heaved  him  upward  and  tossed  him,  literally 
threw  him,  full  fifteen  feet,  as  a  man  would  hurl  a  heavy 
hammer.  As  he  struck  the  earth  young  Needham  was 
on  him  like  a  panther,  and  he  dug  a  hole  in  the  Wallace 
Fair  grounds,  using  the  face  and  head  of  Fitz  as  a  spade. 
When  he  finished,  he  picked  him  up  again  and  slammed 
him  down,  and  the  mighty  Fitz  lay  still,  with  a  zigzag 
gash  on  his  cheek. 

"  Doc  Needham  released  Lipsey,  who  cared  for  his 
beaten  crony,  fanning  his  face,  resuscitating  him,  and 
leading  him  away.  The  Needhams,  amid  the  plaudits  of 
the  crowd,  resumed  their  medicine  vending.  They  were 
not  molested  again,  but  in  the  evening  Fitz  limped  over 
to  their  stand  with  Lipsey  and  shook  his  fist  at  young 
Needham. 

"  '  I'll  get  even  with  you,'  he  said.  '  I'll  break  every 
bone  in  your  body.' 

"  Young  Needham  leaped  at  him,  the  whole  savage  in 
his  being  aroused,  but  the  giant  arms  of  Doc  Needham 
closed  on  his  boy  and  held  him  as  a  mother  could  clutch 
her  child,  and  those  who  saw  it  beheld,  for  the  first  and 
last  time,  which  of  the  two  Needhams  was  the  mightier 
man. 

"  '  Go  away  or  I'll  loose  him,'  said  Doc  Needham,  and 
Fitz  and  Lipsey  limped  away. 

"  But  for  Doc  Needham  there  would  have  been  murder 
at  the  Wallace  Fair  that  day. 

"  Some  time  after  the  vanquishing  of  Fitz,  Doc  Need- 
ham and  his  son  were  in  St.  Thomas.  They  had  their 
own   team.     They  took   a   little   fire-water  before  they 


THE  SIX-FOOT  NEEDHAMS  in 

started  home.  They  stopped,  on  their  way  home,  at  the 
tavern  by  Kittlecreek  Bridge,  on  the  outskirts  of  St. 
Thomas.  Young  Needham  alighted  before  reaching  the 
tavern  and  started  off  to  see  a  man  on  business.  Doc 
Needham  drove  up  to  the  tavern  and  stopped.  In  a  bag 
in  his  waggon  he  had  an  axe-head  and  some  pork,  both  of 
which  he  had  bought  in  St.  Thomas.  When  he  drove 
away  from  the  tavern,  Fitz  and  Lipsey  jumped  into  the 
waggon,  grabbed  the  bag  containing  the  pork  and  axe- 
head,  and  while  one  tried  to  hold  Doc  Needham  the 
other  beat  him  over  the  head  with  the  bag  and  killed  him. 
They  mistook  him  for  his  son  and  thought  they  were 
beating  young  Needham. 

"  They  escaped  in  the  darkness  and  got  out  of  the 
country.  This  had  occurred  before  I  began  to  work  for 
the  Government,  but  I  took  up  the  case.  Doc  Needham 
was  popular  throughout  the  entire  country  round  about. 
I  sent  circulars  all  over  Canada  and  the  United  States 
describing  Fitz  and  Lipsey.  Young  Needham  had 
marked  Fitz  for  identification  in  the  fight  at  the  Wallace 
Fair.  Through  a  stray  letter  I  got  track  of  Fitz  out  near 
Red  Wing  in  Minnesota.  I  went  after  him,  taking  Gov- 
ernor John  King  of  the  St.  Thomas  gaol  with  me  to 
identify  him.  Governor  King  knew  Fitz  well,  as  Fitz 
had  worked  for  him  at  one  time.  King  and  I  arrived  in 
Red  Wing  late  at  night.  We  had  a  double-bedded  room. 
It  was  late  in  November.  King  snored  like  a  hippopota- 
mus and  I  could  not  sleep,  so  I  arose  at  the  first  sign  of 
dawn  and  went  out  to  find  a  barber's  shop.  I  walked  the 
silent  streets  of  Red  Wing  for  about  an  hour,  when  a 
barber's  shop  opened  and  I  started  for  it.  As  I  crossed 
the  street  an  enormous  fellow  came  slouching  along  and 
entered  the  shop.  He  had  a  full  beard  and  long  hair.  I 
followed  him  into  the  shop.  I  waited  while  the  barber 
was  cutting  his  hair.  He  sat  with  his  eyes  shut,  and  as  I 
studied  him  in  the  mirror,  the  description  I  had  of  Fitz 
seemed  to  fit,  bit  by  bit,  to  the  bearded  giant  in  the  chair. 

"  I  recalled  the  zigzag  scar  on  the  cheek,  and  waited 
while  the  barber's  shears  snipped,  snipped,  snipped  at  the 
hair.     The  man   fell  asleep  in  the  chair.     He  must  have 


ii2     MEMOIRS  OF  A  GREAT  DETECTIVE 

been  up  all  night.  He  snored  and  the  barber  smiled.  A 
voice  outside  began  shouting  :  '  Joe  !  Joe  ! '  The  barber 
answered  by  going  to  the  door  and  calling :  •  Yes,  in  a 
minute.'  The  man  outside  yelled  again,  and,  with  a 
glance  at  his  sleeping  customer,  the  barber  laid  down  his 
shears  and  stepped  out.  I  waited.  If  I  only  knew 
whether  there  was  a  zigzag  scar  on  the  sleeper's  cheek. 
I  tiptoed  to  the  door  and  looked  out.  The  barber  was 
talking  busily  to  a  man  in  a  waggon.  I  tiptoed  back  to 
where  the  sleeper  snored  in  the  chair.  His  head  was  on 
one  side.  The  scissors  were  within  easy  reach.  He 
snored.  I  seized  the  scissors,  moved  them  close  to  his 
cheek,  snipped  and  quickly  laid  them  down  and  resumed 
my  seat.  He  snored  on.  I  stood  up,  and  there,  where 
the  hair  had  been  cut  away,  I  saw  the  outline  of  a  zigzag 
scar.  I  arose  and  walked  out  of  the  shop.  The  barber 
called  to  me  as  I  passed  him. 

"  '  I'll  be  back  presently,'  said  I. 

"  I  simply  located  the  gaol  accurately  and  returned  to 
the  barber's  shop.  The  giant  was  just  getting  out  of  the 
chair,  and  was  raging  at  the  barber  for  slashing  his  beard 
so  close  on  the  cheeks. 

" '  I  said  to  trim  it  on  the  chin,  not  the  cheeks,'  he 
growled. 

"  I  walked  out  with  him.  He  growled  at  me  about 
the  barber,  and  said  I  did  right  to  leave  without  a 
shave. 

"  *  What  might  your  name  be,  friend  ? '  I  finally  asked 
him. 

"  '  Church,'  he  said  ;  '  and  I'm  bound  down  the  river 
instanter.' 

"  It  was  a  desperate  situation.  I  was  sure  he  was  Fitz. 
Yet  I  might  be  mistaken.  I  must  find  some  way  to  hold 
him  until  I  could  get  Governor  King  to  look  him  over. 
The  giant  refused  an  invitation  to  drink  or  breakfast. 
He  was  angry  and  determined  to  get  out  of  town  at 
once.     An  idea  struck  me. 

" '  Well,  Church,'  said  I ;  'I  am  sorry,  but  I  want 
you.' 

"  '  Want  me  ?     What  for  ? '  he  roared. 


THE  SIX-FOOT  NEEDHAMS  113 

"  *  You  stole  a  canoe  and  a  coil  of  rope  down  river  last 
night/  said  I. 

" '  You're  a liar,'  said  he,  in  a  rage. 

" '  It's  not  what  I  say,  it's  what  a  fellow  over  here 
says,'  said  I. 

"  '  Over  where  ?  '  growled  the  giant.  '  Show  him  to  me.' 

"  '  Come  on,'  said  I.  '  Face  him,  and  make  him  face 
you.' 

"  The  ugly  bully  side  of  the  man  was  aroused.  For 
once  in  his  life,  whoever  he  was,  he  had  been  accused 
wrongfully  and  was  innocent.  He  would  wreak  his 
vengeance  on  his  accuser. 

"  The  court-house  and  gaol  were  in  the  centre  of  the 
square.  A  man  stood  in  the  doorway.  We  approached, 
I  walking  ahead,  and  I  quickly  said  to  him  :  '  I  want  the 
sheriff.' 

"  '  He's  just  getting  up,'  was  the  reply. 

" '  Well,  he'd  better  be  quick  about  it,'  rumbled  my 
companion,  who  had  not  heard  my  question,  and  who 
thought  I  had  asked  for  the  man  who  had  made  the 
charge  of  stealing  against  him. 

"  The  man  in  the  doorway  was  the  turnkey.  Without 
a  word  he  opened  the  door  and  we  entered,  and  the  door 
clanged  shut  behind  us. 

" '  Wait  here,'  I  told  my  huge  friend,  and  I  went  in 
and  saw  the  sheriff. 

"  Chandler  was  his  name.  He  was  a  bachelor,  a  fine 
man,  and  was  serving  his  third  term  as  sheriff.  I  told 
him  my  whole  story :  that  I  was  an  officer  from  Canada, 
and  that  I  had  a  man  charged  with  murder.  The  sheriff 
was  very  nice.  He  called  Church  in,  told  him  to  step 
into  the  next  room,  and  when  he  did  so,  locked  him  in. 
I  hurried  back  to  the  hotel  and  awakened  Governor 
King. 

"  '  I've  got  Fitz,'  said  I. 

" '  Nonsense,'  said  he.  '  You  don't  even  know  him 
when  you  see  him.' 

" '  Come  to  the  gaol,'  said  I. 

"  Governor  King  dressed  in  a  jiffy.  On  the  way  to 
the  gaol  I  told  him  the  story.     I  reminded  him  that,  if  it 


ii4     MEMOIRS  OF  A  GREAT  DETECTIVE 

was  not  Fitz,  all  he  needed  to  say  was  that  he  was  not 
the  man  who  stole  the  canoe  and  rope.  If  it  was  Fitz, 
he  should  give  him  a  nice  talk  about  the  folks  at  home, 
and  how  the  people  felt,  and  jolly  him  along,  as  we  could 
not  take  him  back,  under  the  circumstances,  unless  he 
was  willing  to  go.  We  entered  the  gaol.  We  could 
hear  a  thunderous  roaring.  It  was  my  friend  Church, 
bellowing  in  rage  over  being  locked  in.  King  went  to 
the  door.     Church  spied  him. 

" '  Hello,  Harry,'  said  Governor  King. 

" '  Hello,  governor,'  said  Fitz,  meek  as  a  lamb,  and  no 
longer  roaring. 

"  They  shook  hands  and  talked  for  an  hour.  I  break- 
fasted with  the  sheriff.  Fitz  consented  to  return  to 
Canada,  after  talking  with  King.  We  started  that  night. 
The  news  of  a  murderer  being  arrested  spread  like  wild- 
fire. When  we  left  the  gaol  over  two  thousand  people 
were  waiting  to  see  the  murderer  from  Canada.  The 
crowd  grew  rapidly,  until  the  entire  town  and  many  from 
round  about  followed  us  to  the  train.  A  number  boarded 
the  train  and  rode  to  the  next  station.  We  rode  in  the 
smoker  that  night,  and  in  the  morning  a  fellow  passenger 
told  me  that  a  lawyer  from  Milwaukee  had  heard  of  the 
matter  and  would  try  to  make  trouble  for  me  with  my 
prisoner.  Fitz  and  King  and  I  still  were  riding  in  the 
smoker  at  that  time. 

"  '  Harry,'  said  I  to  Fitz,  '  a  shyster  is  coming  in  here 
soon  to  make  trouble  for  you.  Give  him  a  short  an- 
swer.' 

"  Presently  in  came  the  Milwaukee  lawyer,  with  a  high 
hat  and  lofty  air. 

"  '  Where  is  this  prisoner  charged  with  murder  they 
are  going  to  take  to  Canada  ?  '  he  demanded  in  a  loud 
voice. 

"  No  one  answered.     He  spotted  Harry. 

"  '  My  man,'  he  said  to  Fitz, '  don't  you  know  you  have 
a  right  in  this  country,  and  only  the  President  can  have 
you  taken  out  ?     What  are  you  charged  with  ? ' 

" '  Kissing  a  mule's  tail.  Ain't  you  glad  you  found 
out  ?  '  said  Fitz,  at  the  top  of  his  voice. 


THE  SIX-FOOT  NEEDHAMS  115 

"  Everybody  in  the  car  laughed.  The  lawyer  from 
Milwaukee  grew  red  as  a  beet. 

"  '  You  ought  to  be  hung ! '  he  snorted,  and  everybody 
laughed  again. 

"  As  our  train  near  home  crossed  Kittlecreek  Bridge, 
Fitz  pointed  out  the  tavern  and  started  to  tell  me  about 
the  murder.  I  told  him  not  to  tell  me.  He  was  con- 
victed of  manslaughter,  and  was  sentenced  to  ten  years 
in  the  Penitentiary. 

"  All  four  men  who  were  figures  in  the  fight  at  the 
Wallace  Fair  came  to  tragic  ends.  Doc  Needham  was 
murdered  ;  Fitzsimmons  died  in  the  Penitentiary ;  Lipsey 
was  killed  in  a  circus  row  in  a  Western  State;  young 
Needham  was  killed  in  1902,  up  near  Spring  Bank,  not 
far  from  London.  Spring  Bank  was  a  picnic  place  near 
the  Indian  Reserve  at  Muncietown.  Young  Needham, 
no  longer  young,  was  there  with  numerous  Indians  on  a 
holiday,  in  August,  1902.  He  was  drinking  at  the  pump. 
Big  McCarter,  of  London,  was  there,  and  he  ordered 
Needham  away  from  the  pump.  Needham  refused  to 
go.  It  was  about  ten  o'clock  at  night.  McCarter  said 
he  would  make  him  go.  Needham  stood  off  to  meet 
him.  Everybody  fell  back  to  make  room  for  the  fight. 
They  were  fighting,  when  suddenly  Needham,  who  had 
been  untouched,  fell  like  a  log.  McCarter  kicked  him 
savagely  as  he  lay,  and  when  they  picked  young  Need- 
ham up,  he  was  beyond  need  of  aid. 

"  McCarter  was  arrested.  An  autopsy  was  held.  It 
showed  several  of  Needham's  ribs  had  been  kicked  in ; 
but  it  showed  also,  according  to  the  testimony  of  those 
who  performed  the  autopsy,  that  the  direct  cause  of  death 
was  heart  failure.  Big  McCarter  was  tried  at  the  Fall 
Assizes  in  1902  and  acquitted.  The  autopsy  saved  him. 
It  also  saved  young  Needham's  record,  and  sent  him  to 
his  grave  unbeaten." 


n6     MEMOIRS  OF  A  GREAT  DETECTIVE 

XXII 

PRETTY  MARY  WARD  OF  THE  GOVERNMENT 
GARDENS 

A  window  of  Murray's  office  in  the  Department  of 
Justice  in  the  old  time  Government  building  in  Toronto, 
looked  out  on  the  flower  gardens,  the  gravel  walks  and 
close-cropped  lawns  and  luxuriant  shade  trees  of  the 
Government  grounds.  Daily,  the  old  gardener,  and  his 
wife  might  be  seen  working  in  the  grounds.  Early  in 
1876  a  new  face  appeared  in  the  gardens,  amid  the  flow- 
ers. It  was  a  face  so  winsome  and  sweet  that  it  seemed 
to  have  caught  the  fragrant  beauty  of  the  flowers,  with 
roses  blooming  in  the  cheeks  and  violets  nestling  in  the 
big  dark  eyes.  She  came  and  went  with  her  uncle  and 
aunt,  and  gradually  became  a  familiar  figure  as  she  delved 
in  the  flower  beds  or  gathered  bunches  of  blooms. 

The  girl  had  come  out  from  England  in  the  early  part 
of  the  year.  She  came  to  make  her  home  in  the  New 
World  with  her  aunt  and  uncle,  who  kept  the  Govern- 
ment gardens.  Aboard  ship,  on  the  way  out,  she  met 
Ebenezer  Ward.  Ward  was  a  big,  handsome,  well-to-do 
cattleman,  about  thirty-four  years  old.  He  owned  a  fine 
farm  in  the  township  of  Caledon,  in  the  county  of  Peel, 
about  thirty  miles  from  Toronto,  and  his  family  was 
highly  respected  in  that  part  of  the  country.  They  were 
prosperous  farmers  and  came  of  very  nice  English  people. 
Ebenezer  was  a  bachelor.  He  was  shrewd  and  indus- 
trious. He  bought  and  sold  cattle  and  also  was  a  butcher. 
He  visited  England  in  the  fall  of  1875,  and  was  on  his 
way  home  when  he  met  the  pretty  English  lass  on  her 
way  to  Toronto. 

From  his  window  Murray  could  see,  of  an  occasional 
bright  afternoon,  the  pretty  girl  of  the  flower  gardens 
walking  in  the  shady  paths  with  a  large  handsome  fel- 
low, and  at  times  their  happy  laughter  rang  out,  and 
once,  amid  the  flowers,  the  big  man  took  her  in  his  arms 
and  lifted  her  up  and  kissed  her.  Soon  after,  she  went 
away,  and  Murray  saw  her  no  more.     The  old  woman 


PRETTY  MARY  WARD  117 

said  she  had  married  Ward,  and  they  were  living  happily 
on  his  farm  in  the  county  of  Peel.  The  old  woman  de- 
lighted to  tell  of  her  niece  Mary's  fine  home  and  farm. 
She  would  dwell  on  the  beauties  of  the  large  log  house, 
with  a  cellar  the  entire  length,  with  a  good  barn  and  all 
the  desired  outbuildings,  even  to  a  fine  modern  dairy  ; 
but  above  all  was  the  house,  with  the  cellar  its  entire 
length,  and  the  grandest  of  new  furniture,  including  a 
big,  new  Gurney  range,  bought  in  Toronto  and  sent  to 
the  farm.  Moreover,  Mary  had  her  own  maid,  a  girl 
named  Jennie  Morrison,  the  fifteen-year-old  daughter  of 
a  neighbouring  farmer.  Mary  wrote  frequently  to  her 
aunt,  telling  of  how  devoted  her  husband  was,  how  he 
spent  much  of  his  time  with  her,  and  how  happy  she  was 
in  her  new  home  and  new  life.  One  day  the  old  woman, 
brimful  of  joy,  called  cheerily  up  to  Murray's  window 
that  Mary  Ward  was  coming  to  visit  her  that  day.  The 
day  passed,  but  Mary  Ward  did  not  come. 

About  one  o'clock  that  night  a  red  glow  lighted  the 
skies  in  the  township  of  Caledon.  It  grew  and  deepened 
as  the  great  tongues  of  flame  leaped  up  from  the  home 
of  Ebenezer  Ward  and  licked  the  night.  A  naked  figure 
burst  through  the  doorway  and  fled  across  the  fields  a 
half  mile  to  his  father's  house.  It  was  Ebenezer  Ward. 
He  rolled  over  at  intervals  as  he  ran  and  his  body  was 
marked  with  many  burns. 

"  My  house  is  on  fire ! "  he  shouted,  as  he  fell  ex- 
hausted in  his  father's  house. 

"  Where  is  Mary  ?  "  they  asked. 

"  The  last  I  saw  of  her,  she  was  at  the  door,  going 
out,"  he  said,  and  burst  into  tears. 

They  roused  the  countryside.  The  house  was  burning 
furiously.  In  his  cellar  Ward  kept  barrels  of  tallow  and 
the  heavy  logs  fell  into  the  cellar  one  by  one.  The  heat 
was  intense.     Mary  Ward  was  nowhere  to  be  found. 

"  I  was  notified,"  says  Murray,  "  and  I  went  to  the 
Ward  farm.  The  place  took  a  long  time  to  burn.  It 
was  still  burning  when  I  arrived.  The  heat  was  so  great 
that  one  could  not  get  very  close.  We  pumped  the  well 
dry  and  hauled  water,  and  finally,  on  the  second  day 


n8     MEMOIRS  OF  A  GREAT  DETECTIVE 

after,  we  got  the  fire  out.  I  saw  Ward  at  his  father's 
house.  His  mother  was  putting  goose  oil  on  his  burns. 
She  told  me  that  since  his  outburst  of  tears  as  he  fell  on 
their  floor  after  the  fire,  he  had  spoken  but  little  of  the 
disaster.  In  fact  I  found  him  very  reticent  and  disin- 
clined to  talk.  I  sympathised  with  him  and  told  him  he 
had  a  miraculous  escape.  He  thawed  out  a  little  and 
told  me  that  he  and  his  wife  were  awakened  by  the  heat 
and  jumped  up  and  he  got  her  as  far  as  the  door  and  had 
found  the  door  difficult  to  open  and  when  he  finally 
opened  it  he  turned  for  her,  where  she  had  stood  beside 
him,  but  she  was  gone,  and  the  flames  were  close  upon 
him,  their  heat  becoming  intolerable.     So  he  fled  alone. 

"  '  Poor  Mary  ! '  he  sorrowed.     '  I  never  can  forget  it.' 

"  His  mother  continued  to  dress  his  burns.  I  watched 
her  and  my  eye  lighted  on  a  deep  burn  on  the  back  of 
the  neck  at  the  base  of  the  skull.  The  flesh  was  burned 
severely,  but  no  hair  was  burned.  That  struck  me  as 
very  strange.  I  examined  the  burn  carefully.  Ward 
became  uneasy.  My  suspicions  were  aroused  instantly. 
I  examined  the  other  burns.  They  were  deep,  so  deep 
and  so  similar  as  to  strengthen  my  suspicions. 

"  I  asked  about  Jennie  Morrison,  the  fifteen-year-old 
domestic.  She  was  at  her  father's  home.  I  learned  from 
her  that  on  the  morning  of  the  night  on  which  the  fire 
occurred,  Mary  Ward  was  to  have  gone  to  visit  her  aunt 
in  Toronto.  Her  husband  had  consented,  but  with  re- 
luctance. Before  he  started  to  drive  her  to  the  train  he 
told  her  she  had  better  send  the  Morrison  girl  home  until 
she  returned.  Mary  Ward  said  '  Nonsense,'  but  he  in- 
sisted, saying  the  neighbours  might  talk,  so  Mary  Ward, 
as  she  drove  away,  told  Jennie  Morrison  she  might  go 
home  for  a  few  days  and  Jennie  went. 

"  Ebenezer  Ward  drove  his  wife  to  the  Caledon  Station 
of  the  Canadian-Pacific  Railroad.  I  learned  there  that 
after  arriving  at  the  station  he  changed  his  mind  and  told 
his  wife  she  better  not  go  that  day  but  should  wait  a  day 
or  two  and  he  would  go  with  her.  It  seemed  he  could 
not  bear  the  thought  of  having  her  out  of  his  sight.  She 
remonstrated  reasonably,  saying  she  was  all  ready  to  go, 


PRETTY  MARY  WARD  119 

her  aunt  was  expecting  her,  the  train  was  about  to  arrive, 
and  she  should  be  glad  to  have  him  come  that  day  or 
later.  He  insisted  she  should  go  back  to  the  house  and 
finally  she  obeyed  and  reluctantly  gave  up  her  trip  that 
day  and  drove  home  again  with  him.  They  were  alone 
in  their  house  that  night  and  at  one  o'clock  in  the  morn- 
ing the  fire  occurred  and  Ward  ran  naked  from  the  house 
to  his  father's  home. 

"  When  the  ruins  had  cooled  so  that  I  could  go  among 
them  I  had  all  the  logs  pulled  out  that  were  not  burned. 
Then  I  began  the  supervision  of  a  systematic  sifting  of 
the  debris.  I  was  hunting  for  traces  of  the  remains  of 
Mary  Ward.  I  came  across  the  stove.  It  was  a  fine 
Gurney  range.  I  examined  it  and  found  it  was  burnt  on 
the  inside,  burnt  molten.  I  knew  very  well  that  cast  iron 
could  not  be  burned  in  this  way  except  by  artificial  heat. 
I  looked  at  the  name  on  the  range,  Gurney.  The  letters 
were  not  molten  nor  had  they  been  burned.  Clearly  it 
was  not  the  heat  of  the  burning  house  that  had  burned 
the  stove  inside,  otherwise  the  outside  and  particularly 
the  raised  lettering  of  the  name  would  have  been  burned. 
I  took  a  piece  of  the  stove  and  put  it  in  an  old  bag. 
Then  I  had  the  men  continue  sifting  the  debris. 

"  I  found  a  butcher's  knife.  The  handle  had  been  burnt 
off.  The  point  of  the  knife  was  bent.  I  put  it  in  the 
bag.  I  sifted  for  half  an  hour  or  more,  and  then  found 
a  piece  of  what  resembled  bone  of  a  human  body.  I  put 
this  in  the  bag.  I  sifted  on  and  found  another  piece  of 
bone.  I  found  some  copper  that  had  been  melted.  I 
also  found  a  piece  of  feather-tick,  matted,  as  if  wet.  As 
you  probably  know  wet  feathers  are  very  hard  to  burn. 
All  these  finds  I  arranged  carefully  in  the  old  bag,  and 
that  night  I  went  to  Toronto  and  called  at  the  School  of 
Practical  Science.  Dr.  Ellis  is  there  now,  but  Professor 
Croft  was  there  in  those  days.  I  asked  him  if  he  could 
find  traces  of  blood,  if  bleeding  flesh  had  been  burned  in 
a  stove  and  had  stained  it.  He  said  he  could,  and  that  it 
was  possible  also  to  tell  if  it  was  the  blood  of  a  human 
being  or  the  blood  of  an  animal.  I  produced  my  piece 
of  the  stove  and  asked  him  to  make  an  analysis.     He  did 


120     MEMOIRS  OF  A  GREAT  DETECTIVE 

so  and  later  reported  that  he  discovered  traces  of  the 
blood  of  a  human  being,  and  further  that  it  was  the  blood 
of  one  who  could  nurse  young,  a  female. 

"  The  first  piece  of  bone  I  had  found  was  the  sixth  and 
seventh  vertebrae  of  a  human  body.  The  second  piece 
of  bone  I  had  found  was  a  piece  of  ankle  bone  of  a  hu- 
man body.  These  pieces  of  bone  I  had  found  some  dis- 
tance apart.  The  bent  point  of  the  butcher's  knife 
seemed  to  say  to  me  that  it  had  been  bent  by  disjointing 
Mary  Ward's  body  after  the  blade  had  cut  her  into 
chunks.  The  matted  piece  of  the  bedtick  turned  out  to 
be  matted  with  human  blood.  In  the  cellar  I  had  found 
traces  of  the  big  barrels  of  tallow,  and  a  speck  or  tallow 
spot  on  the  range  gave  me  the  missing  link.  Mary  Ward 
had  been  murdered  in  her  bed,  and  her  blood  soaked  the 
mattress  and  matted  the  feathers.  Her  body  then  was 
cut  into  pieces  and  the  bones  prized  apart  with  the 
butcher's  knife.  The  pieces  were  taken  to  the  Gurney 
range  and  a  copper  bucket  of  tallow  was  placed  upon 
them,  and  then  more  tallow,  and  then  the  whole  was 
lighted  and  the  terrific  heat  of  the  tallow  consumed  the 
body  and  melted  the  inside  of  the  range.  To  conceal  the 
crime  the  house  was  set  on  fire.  Ward  was  a  butcher. 
Such  a  mannered  murder  would  be  characteristic.  For 
years  he  had  butchered  cattle,  and  when  he  decided  to 
kill  his  wife  the  way  naturally  occurring  to  him  was  to 
butcher  her  as  he  would  a  steer.  His  jealousy,  manifest 
in  his  unwillingness  to  have  her  out  of  his  sight,  his  ina- 
bility to  have  her  go  away,  even  for  a  day  or  two  with 
her  aunt,  evidenced  in  the  scene  at  the  railroad  station, 
threw  light  on  the  motive. 

"  I  arrested  Ebenezer  Ward,  charged  with  the  murder 
of  Mary  Ward.  It  created  a  sensation.  He  was  tried  in 
Brampton  in  1876.  The  late  Kenneth  Mackenzie,  later 
a  judge,  prosecuted.  Ward  was  defended  by  eminent 
counsel,  one  of  the  brilliant  men  of  Canada,  John  Hilliard 
Cameron.  It  was  the  last  case  he  had  in  court.  Judge 
Morse,  his  first  case  on  the  bench,  presided  at  the  time. 
The  Crown  swore  eighty  witnesses.  The  case  of  circum- 
stantial evidence  was  impregnable.     The  defence,  after 


THE  FATAL  ROBBERY  OF  THE  DAINS     121 

all  else  failed,  fell  back  on  a  plea  of  insanity.  Fourteen 
doctors  were  called  by  the  defence  to  prove  Ward  insane. 
I  had  sixteen  doctors  and  thus  the  Crown  had  the  pre- 
ponderance of  medical  testimony.  Ward,  despite  the 
able  fight  made  by  his  counsel,  was  convicted  on  May  1 2th, 
1876,  and  was  sentenced  to  be  hanged.  Subsequently 
the  Minister  of  Justice  commuted  the  sentence  to  impris- 
onment for  life,  owing  to  the  difference  of  expert  opinion. 

"  Ward  was  sent  to  Kingston  Penitentiary.  He  acted 
strangely,  and  a  great  many  believed  he  still  simply  was 
feigning  insanity.  He  was  removed  to  Rockwood  Asylum 
in  Kingston.  There  he  became  worse  and  died.  His 
brain  was  examined  by  famous  experts  from  the  United 
States  and  Canada,  including  Dr.  MacDonald,  Dr.  Work- 
man, and  Dr.  Dickson.  They  found  his  brain  was  dis- 
eased. 

"  The  burn  on  Ward's  neck  had  been  made  purposely 
by  him  with  a  piece  of  iron,  red  hot.  He  had  done  it  too 
well.  A  mere  blister  would  have  aroused  no  suspicion, 
but  he  had  pressed  the  iron  in  so  deep  that  if  a  flame  had 
inflicted  so  severe  a  burn  on  the  back  of  his  neck,  it 
would  have  scorched  the  hair  off  and  blistered  the  back 
of  the  head.  The  piece  of  ankle  bone  and  the  vertebrae 
were  buried  decently  later.  They  were  all  that  remained 
of  pretty  Mary  Ward,  who  used  to  laugh  among  the 
flowers  opposite  my  window." 


XXIII 

THE  FATAL  ROBBERY  OF  THE  DAINS 

While  crimes  were  occurring  in  the  counties  round 
about  Toronto,  the  capital  city  was  not  immune.  On  a 
bitter  cold  night,  in  March,  1875,  two  men  slipped  noise- 
lessly along  in  the  darker  shadow  of  the  house  walls  in 
Yonge  Street.  One  was  on  one  side  of  the  street,  the 
other  was  on  the  other  side  of  the  street.  They  made 
their  way  swiftly  and  silently  out  to  the  corner  of  Bloor 


122     MEMOIRS  OF  A  GREAT  DETECTIVE 

Street,  where  the  city  limits  ended  in  those  days,  and  the 
district  beyond  was  called  York.  On  a  corner  of  Yonge 
and  Bloor  Streets  lived  the  Dains.  They  were  rich 
drovers  and  butchers.  Three  brothers — Joseph  Dain, 
James  Dain,  and  Major  Dain — lived  there  with  their 
mother.  They  were  good  business  men,  and  carried  large 
sums  of  money  on  their  person  for  cattle  buying. 

Their  house  loomed  silent  and  sombre  in  the  night. 
The  two  men  in  the  street  met  in  its  shadow,  and  slipped 
around  to  the  rear.  One  of  the  two  took  his  stand  by 
the  rear  corner  of  the  house,  where  he  could  see  any  one 
approaching.  The  other  took  off  his  overcoat,  handed  it 
to  him,  and  approached  the  door.  He  fumbled  in  his 
pocket  a  moment  and  produced  something  that  resembled 
a  double-sized  cigar.  He  pressed  it  close  against  the 
door.  There  was  a  moment's  silence,  then  a  rending 
sound,  and  the  door  swung  open.  He  had  jemmied  it. 
Both  men  waited,  but  no  noise  from  within  followed  the 
forcing  of  the  door.  The  one  man  noiselessly  entered 
the  house,  and  the  other  moved  in  and  stood  by  the  door- 
way, concealed  from  any  passer-by.  Up-stairs  Joseph 
Dain  was  asleep  in  his  room,  his  trousers  on  the  chair 
beside  his  bed.  He  stirred,  opened  his  eyes,  and  saw  a 
tall  figure  standing  by  his  bed,  rifling  the  pockets  of  his 
trousers,  in  which  he  had  considerable  money.  Joseph 
Dain  was  a  powerful,  fearless  man,  and  he  leaped  out  of 
bed  and  grabbed  the  burglar.  The  man  broke  away  and 
fled  down-stairs,  where  his  pal  was  waiting.  As  he 
bounded  down  the  stairs  his  pal  swung  the  door  wide 
open,  and  as  he  sprang  past,  his  pal  slammed  the  door  in 
the  face  of  Joseph  Dain,  and  the  two  burglars  fled,  sep- 
arating as  they  ran. 

Dain  jerked  open  the  door,  and  although  there  was 
snow  on  the  ground,  and  it  was  almost  zero  weather,  and 
he  was  naked,  save  for  a  nightshirt,  he  gave  chase  to  the 
man  who  was  running  down  Bloor  Street  West.  It  was 
the  one  who  had  rifled  his  trousers.  Block  after  block 
they  ran,  and  Dain,  his  feet  bare  and  bleeding,  was  gain- 
ing on  his  man  when  the  burglar  shouted  over  his 
shoulder : 


THE  FATAL  ROBBERY  OF  THE  DAINS  123 

"  Turn  back  or  I'll  shoot !  " 

Dain  leaped  forward,  and  was  closing  on  him  when  a 
shot  rang  out,  and  Dain  fell  with  a  bullet  in  the  abdomen. 
The  burglar  pocketed  a  smoking  revolver,  ran  on,  and 
escaped. 

His  pal  meanwhile,  as  he  ran  across  Yonge  Street, 
tripped  on  the  extra  overcoat  he  was  carrying,  and  fell. 
A  baker  going  to  work  in  the  early  morning  hours, 
grabbed  the  fallen  man,  and  held  him  until  a  policeman 
came  and  locked  him  up.  Dain  was  carried  indoors, 
surgeons  were  summoned,  and  he  rallied  after  the  opera- 
tion for  the  bullet. 

"  I  did  not  take  up  the  case  until  later,  when  I  looked 
the  captured  burglar  over,  and  recognised  him  at  once 
as  Charles  Leavitt,  a  desperate  American  burglar  and 
thief,"  says  Murray.  "  His  home  was  Buffalo,  although 
the  police  there  knew  him  so  well  that  it  was  the  last 
place  he  could  hope  to  stay.  I  took  the  overcoat,  and 
looked  it  over  carefully,  and  found  in  it  the  mark  of  a 
Cleveland  tailor.  I  started  for  Cleveland,  and,  in  look- 
ing up  Leavitt's  record  in  the  States,  I  found  that  one  of 
his  friends  was  Frank  Meagher,  of  Cleveland,  a  danger- 
ous man,  a  skilled  burglar,  a  clever  crook,  and  one  of 
the  ablest  and  worst  rough-ones  at  large  at  that  time.  I 
knew  his  description  well.  It  tallied  in  general  outline 
with  Dain's  description  of  the  burglar  at  his  bedside.  It 
tallied  exactly  with  the  tailor's  description  of  the  man 
for  whom  he  made  the  coat.  The  escaped  burglar,  I  was 
satisfied,  was  Frank  Meagher.  He  and  Leavitt,  a  bold 
and  reckless  pair,  had  crossed  to  Canada  on  a  burglary 
tour,  and  had  spotted  the  Dain  house  for  their  first  job. 

"  Meagher  seemed  to  have  vanished  completely.  I  set 
out  to  trace  him  in  Toronto  after  the  shooting.  I  made 
the  rounds  of  all  the  resorts,  and  finally  found  a  young 
man  named  John  Jake  Ackermann.  Jake  was  known  in 
Toronto  as  Keno  Billy,  and  was  a  bartender  and  faro 
dealer.  He  was  at  a  place  on  King  Street,  known  as  the 
Senate  saloon,  kept  by  Mike  Ganley,  a  United  States 
refugee  from  justice  in  Indiana,  when  Meagher  arrived 
on  the  day  of  the  burglary.     Jake  had  taken  Meagher's 


124     MEMOIRS  OF  A  GREAT  DETECTIVE 

valise  and  put  it  behind  the  bar.  About  an  hour  after 
Dain  was  shot,  Meagher  appeared  at  the  back  door  of 
the  Senate,  and  was  admitted  by  Bill  Frazer,  one  of 
Ganley's  friends,  and  then  the  trail  disappeared.  Ganley's 
place  was  a  great  hang-out  in  those  days  for  men  of 
Meagher's  stripe. 

"  Leavitt  was  convicted,  and  was  sentenced  to  Kingston 
Penitentiary  for  life.  He  took  his  medicine  without  a 
word,  refused  to  betray  his  pal,  and  went,  with  sealed 
lips,  to  serve  until  death  inside  the  prison  walls.  No 
trace  could  be  found  of  Meagher. 

"  Dain  did  not  die  immediately.  He  lived  over  one 
year  and  one  day.  Under  the  law  in  England  and 
Canada,  a  man  cannot  be  convicted  of  murder  and 
hanged,  if  his  victim  lives  for  one  year  and  one  day 
after  the  crime  is  committed.  Dain  lived  for  a  couple 
of  months  over  the  year  and  died.  The  wound  inflicted 
by  Meagher  caused  hernia  of  the  bowls,  and  killed  him. 
But  he  died  too  late  to  hang  the  murderer  even  if  he 
could  be  found.  I  determined  to  find  Meagher  if  it  took 
twenty  years. 

"  Two  years  passed.  I  searched  on.  Whenever  I 
made  a  trip  to  any  big  police  centre  I  made  special 
enquiries.  I  examined  every  description  I  could  obtain 
of  every  prisoner  sentenced  to  any  prison  in  Canada 
or  the  States.  In  1 877  I  came  across  a  description  that 
fitted  Meagher  in  almost  every  respect.  It  was  of  a 
man  sentenced  to  seven  years'  imprisonment  in  the 
Northern  Indiana  Penitentiary  for  a  burglary  at  Big  Bend 
under  the  name  of  Louis  Armstrong.  I  read  it  over 
and  over,  and  the  oftener  I  read  it  the  surer  I  be- 
came that  Louis  Armstrong  was  none  other  than  Frank 
Meagher.  I  prepared  extradition  papers,  and  on  June  1st, 
1877,  I  started  for  Indianapolis.  Detective  Lou  Muncie, 
of  Cleveland,  who  knew  Meagher  well  by  sight,  went  out 
to  the  prison  and  identified  him,  and  thus  I  made  doubly 
sure  that  Armstrong  was  Meagher,  for  the  moment  I  saw 
him  I  was  satisfied  of  it. 

"  When  I  arrived  in  Indianapolis  I  called  on  my  old 
friend,  General  McAuley,  formerly  of  Buffalo,  and  then 


THE  FATAL  ROBBERY  OF  THE  DAINS     125 

Mayor  of  Indianapolis.  General  McAuley  had  a  twin 
brother,  by  the  way,  and  they  looked  as  much  like  one 
another  as  did  the  Needhams.  The  General  said  to  me 
that  the  man  for  me  to  see  was  '  Dan  Voorhees,  of  Terre 
Haute,  one  of  the  best  criminal  lawyers  in  this  state.'  I 
also  called  on  my  friend,  Senator  Joseph  E.  MacDonald, 
who  corroborated  General  McAuley.  I  went  to  Terre 
Haute,  and  stated  my  case  to  Voorhees.  I  told  him  that 
the  State  of  Indiana  had  a  criminal  serving  a  sentence 
for  a  crime  committed  subsequent  to  the  commission  of 
a  far  graver  crime  in  Canada,  and  that  I  wanted  to  take 
him  back  at  once  to  pay  the  penalty  of  his  prior  crime. 
Voorhees  took  the  case,  and  accompanied  me  to  Indian- 
apolis, and  there  the  fine  point  of  law  was  raised. 

"  Meagher  was  a  man  serving  a  term  in  a  penitentiary 
in  the  State  of  Indiana,  paying  a  penalty  he  owed  the 
State  for  burglary.  Could  he  be  taken  out  of  the  State 
before  he  paid  that  penalty  ?  Blue  Jean  Williams,  the 
farmer  who  wore  Kentucky  blue  jean,  was  Governor. 
Voorhees  had  stumped  the  State  for  him.  We  called  on 
him,  and  also  on  former  Governor  Tom  Hendricks,  later 
nominated  for  Vice-President,  and  on  former  Governor 
Baker,  who  agreed  with  Voorhees  that  they  would  sanc- 
tion Meagher's  return  to  stand  trial  in  the  country  where 
he  committed  the  greatest  offence.  We  called  also  on 
Judge  Gresham,  later  Postmaster-General,  who  suggested 
to  Voorhees  that  he  should  see  Chief  Justice  Perkins  of 
the  Indiana  Courts.  We  called  on  Chief  Justice  Perkins, 
who  heard  the  statement  of  the  case  from  Voorhees,  and 
said  that  if  it  was  laid  before  him  in  due  form  he  would 
call  in  his  associate  judges  and  consult  them  on  the 
matter.  He  did  so,  and  they  suggested  that  the  Gov- 
ernor should  serve  a  writ  of  habeas  corpus  on  the  Warden 
of  the  Northern  Indiana  Penitentiary  to  produce  Meagher 
before  the  Supreme  Court  of  the  State.     This  was  done. 

"  The  Warden  produced  Meagher  in  Indianapolis.  The 
prisoner  was  taken  before  the  full  bench  of  state  judges. 
I  went  on  the  stand,  and  was  sworn  as  the  representative 
of  the  Canadian  Government,  and  stated  and  proved  the 
case  of  the  Crown  against  Meagher.     A  Cleveland  de- 


126     MEMOIRS  OF  A  GREAT  DETECTIVE 

tective  identified  Armstrong  as  Meagher.  Meagher  had 
counsel,  and  a  long  argument  followed.  Voorhees  made 
the  claim  that  the  country  where  the  first  and  greatest 
crime  was  committed  should  have  preference  in  the 
custody  of  the  prisoner.  Chief  Justice  Perkins  suggested 
that  the  Governor  might  issue  a  conditional  pardon. 
The  court  sent  a  transcript  of  the  proceedings  to  the 
State  Department  in  Washington,  and  on  June  19th, 
1877,  a  warrant  of  surrender  was  sent  to  me  in  Indian- 
apolis. The  Governor  had  granted  a  conditional  pardon 
on  June  8th,  and  Meagher  was  ordered  into  my  cus- 
tody. 

"  Meagher  was  in  gaol  in  Indianapolis,  where  he  was 
kept  pending  the  outcome  of  the  case.  He  got  wind  of 
the  conditional  pardon  and  of  the  case  going  against 
him.  He  was  a  bad  man,  a  clever  and  daring  crook. 
Two  or  three  times  in  his  career  he  had  escaped,  and  had 
shot  and  killed  a  deputy  on  one  occasion.  He  had  a 
brother,  Charlie  Meagher,  of  Cleveland,  also  a  thief  and 
burglar — a  desperate,  resourceful  crook.  He  had  friends  ; 
and  Frank  Meagher,  then  a  fine-looking,  well-educated 
fellow  of  twenty-eight,  was  highly  respected  and  much 
liked  among  the  abler  crooks  for  his  daring  and  clever- 
ness. I  knew  that  the  chances  were  all  in  favour  of 
complete  plans  having  been  made  to  rescue  Frank.  I 
had  all  my  papers  ready  on  the  evening  of  June  19th. 
It  was  long  after  midnight  when  I  had  the  last  of  them 
signed.  I  went  direct  to  the  gaol  with  Detective  Lou 
Muncie.  A  train  left  at  4.35  o'clock  in  the  morning, 
and  I  decided  to  get  away  on  it  with  Meagher,  and  had 
notified  the  sheriff  several  hours  before.  We  arrived  at 
the  gaol  about  three  o'clock  in  the  morning. 

"  '  Mr.  Sheriff,'  said  I, '  I  am  here  after  Meagher.  Here 
are  my  papers.' 

"  '  I'm  afraid  we're  going  to  have  trouble  with  Meagher,' 
said  the  sheriff,  who  was  greatly  perturbed. 

"  '  What's  the  trouble  with  Meagher  ?  '  said  I. 

" '  He's  armed,  and  he's  got  up  to  the  fourth  floor,  the 
top  tier  of  cells,  and  threatens  to  kill  any  one  who  goes 
near  him,'  said  the  sheriff  with  the  perspiration  streaming 


THE  FATAL  ROBBERY  OF  THE  DAINS    127 

down  his  face.  '  He's  a  desperate  man,  Mr.  Murray ;  a 
desperate  man.' 

" '  Sheriff,'  said  I, '  I  want  the  prisoner.  My  papers 
call  on  you  to  produce  the  prisoner.' 

" '  But  how  am  I  to  produce  him  ? '  exclaimed  the 
worried  sheriff. 

"  '  That  is  for  you  to  determine,'  said  I.  '  Please  pro- 
duce the  prisoner.' 

" '  Well,  then,  come  this  way,  please,'  said  the  sheriff; 
and  we  went  into  the  main  part  of  the  gaol,  where  the 
cells  rose  in  four  tiers,  with  iron  stairways  leading  up  from 
tier  to  tier. 

"  The  sheriff  looked  up  to  the  top  tier,  and  there,  at  the 
head  of  the  stairway,  sat  Meagher.  He  had  a  baseball 
bat  in  one  hand  and  a  revolver  in  the  other. 

"  *  Meagher,  come  down  ! '  called  the  sheriff  in  nervous 
voice. 

"  Meagher's  answer  was  a  volley  of  oaths. 

"  *  Come  up  and  get  me  ! '  he  yelled.  '  I'll  kill  the  first 
that  sets  foot  on  these  stairs  ! ' 

"  '  There,  you  see  ! '  said  the  sheriff  to  me. 

" « Sheriff,  I  want  him/  said  I.  '  Here  are  the  docu- 
ments.    It's  your  duty  to  produce  him.' 

"  The  sheriff  was  in  a  sad  state  of  mind. 

"  '  I  know !  I  know  ! '  he  exclaimed.  '  But  I  don't  want 
to  be  killed  or  to  see  anybody  else  get  killed.' 

"  I  saw  that  the  sheriff  would  not  get  Meagher.  I  saw 
also  that  Meagher  was  playing  for  time,  and  the  purpose 
of  it  probably  was  an  attempt  to  rescue  him.  From  the 
fact  that  he  had  the  revolver  and  club,  I  knew  that  some 
of  his  pals  were  at  work.  I  decided  that  I  must  take  him 
on  the  4.35  train  at  all  hazards. 

" «  Open  that  gate,'  I  said  to  the  sheriff.  '  I  want  to 
speak  to  him.' 

"  «  Don't  do  it,'  said  the  sheriff.     '  He'll  kill  you  ! ' 

" *  John,  I  wouldn't  do  it,'  said  Muncie. 

" '  I  warn  you  not  to  go,'  said  the  sheriff. 

"  I  had  him  open  the  gate.  I  stepped  in  and  walked 
up-stairs.  When  I  reached  the  landing  of  the  stairs, 
where  Meagher  was  at  the  top,  he  said : 


128     MEMOIRS  OF  A  GREAT  DETECTIVE 

"  '  Stop,  Murray  !     Don't  you  come  near  me  ! ' 

"  I  stopped.  I  saw  the  club  and  the  revolver,  and  he 
had  the  gun  pointed  straight  at  me.  I  could  see  the 
gloom  in  the  muzzle. 

" '  I  am  not  coming  up,  Frank,'  I  said,  as  I  stood  on 
the  stairs.  '  I  want  to  talk  to  you  so  everybody  won't 
hear.' 

"  He  had  risen,  and  we  stood,  he  at  the  top  of  the 
stairs,  I  just  below  him.     All  was  quiet. 

"  '  Come  down,  or  I'll  shoot ! '  shrilly  cried  the  sheriff 
below. 

"  I  heard  Muncie  sternly  tell  the  sheriff  to  shut  up. 

" '  Shoot   and   be   ! '   yelled    Meagher   to   the 

sheriff.  '  I'd  rather  be  shot  here  than  hung  in  Can- 
ada.' 

" '  Shut  up,  sheriff,'  I  said,  with  my  eyes  still  on 
Meagher,  who,  while  he  yelled  defiance  to  the  sheriff,  had 
not  swerved  his  glance  for  an  instant  from  me.  '  Frank,'  I 
continued, '  you  won't  be  hung.  You  know  that.  The 
man  lived  over  a  year.  You  know  you've  got  to  come. 
You  could  try  to  kill  me,  but  you  would  go  just  the 
same.' 

"  While  I  was  speaking  I  mounted  the  stairs  step  by 
step  until  I  stood  within  ten  feet  of  him.  He  stood  above 
me,  with  the  revolver  pointed  full  at  me. 

"  '  Stop  ! '  he  said.  '  Stand  where  you  are !  Not  a 
step  nearer ! ' 

"  I  stopped  and  looked  him  full  in  the  eye,  face  to  face ; 
and  I  have  a  feeling  to  this  day  that  I  never  was  nearer 
death  in  my  entire  life.  He  looked  me  over  slowly  from 
head  to  foot  and  back  again.  His  eye  was  cold  and  hard, 
yet,  as  he  glared  at  me,  I  saw  that  something  of  curi- 
osity mingled  with  its  murderous,  merciless,  fine-pointed 
blaze.  He  eyed  me  thus  for  several  minutes.  Neither  of 
us  spoke.  My  hands  were  empty,  my  revolver  was  in  my 
pocket. 

" '  Murray,'  he  said  suddenly,  but  without  shifting  his 
eyes, '  I  have  no  fit  clothes.  I  am  not  going  like  a  pauper 
to  Canada.     I  am  a  gentleman.' 

" '  The  sheriff  has  a  suit  of  clothes  for  you,  Frank,'  I 


THE  FATAL  ROBBERY  OF  THE  DAINS    129 

said.  '  It's  a  pretty  good  suit ;  but  if  it  is  not  good  enough, 
I  will  wait  until  you  can  get  one.' 

"  His  eye  lighted  with  satisfaction ;  and  I  was  sure  then 
that  he  was  playing  for  delay,  and  I  was  doubly  deter- 
mined to  take  him  on  the  4.35  train.  He  began  to  curse 
Muncie,  possibly  hoping  a  row  would  break  out  then  and 
there. 

" '  I  don't  blame  you,  Murray,'  he  said.  '  But  don't 
you  come  near  me.' 

"  I  thought  it  all  over.  He  could  kill  me  as  easy  one 
way  as  another,  so  I  turned  my  back  half  to  him  and  sat 
down  on  the  stair.  If  he  had  glanced  away  I  could  have 
slipped  out  my  gun.  He  watched  me  like  a  hawk.  I 
yawned  and  turned  my  back  full  to  him. 

"'I  do  not  want  to  get  hurt  any  more  than  you  do, 
Frank  ;  but  I'm  not  afraid  of  anything  any  more  than  you 
are/  I  remarked. 

"  There  was  a  long  silence.  I  wondered  once  if  he 
would  reach  down  and  smash  me  with  the  club,  and  I 
thought  I  heard  a  catlike  tread  on  the  step.  I  kept  my 
eyes  front,  however,  although  I  have  done  easier  things 
in  my  life.  Finally  he  spoke — softly,  and  in  almost  a 
whisper. 

"  '  Murray,'  he  said, '  you're  a  game  man.  Get  me  a 
suit  of  clothes  and  I'll  go  with  you,  but  not  with 
Muncie.' 

"  He  handed  me  the  club. 

" '  Give  me  the  gun,  Frank,'  said  I. 

"  He  handed  me  the  gun.  We  walked  down  the  stairs 
into  the  office  side  by  side.  He  spat  at  the  sheriff  and 
swore  at  Muncie,  and  his  glance  flew  to  the  clock  as  we 
passed  it.  It  was  four  o'clock,  and  a  smile  flitted  over 
his  face.  He  donned  the  suit  of  clothes,  and  he  really 
looked  a  prosperous  gentleman.  I  put  the  irons  on  him, 
and,  with  him  swearing  all  the  way  at  Muncie,  we  drove 
at  a  gallop  in  a  closed  carriage  to  the  station.  As  we 
alighted  the  train  was  making  ready  to  go.  A  second 
carriage  galloped  up,  and  out  jumped  Red  Jim  Carroll, 
Joe  Dubuque,  and  two  others  of  their  crowd.  I  lifted 
Meagher  aboard  the  train,  Muncie  beside  me.     As  the 


130     MEMOIRS  OF  A  GREAT  DETECTIVE 

train  pulled  out  a  third  carriage  came  up,  the  horses  on  a 
gallop  ;  but  the  carriage  door  evidently  stuck,  for  the  men 
inside  missed  the  train.  Red  Jim  and  his  three,  how- 
ever, caught  it. 

"  '  See  them  ? '  I  said  to  Muncie,  as  they  entered  an- 
other car. 

"  He  nodded. 

"  '  We're  going  to  have  some  trouble,'  said  I. 

"  Meagher  was  very  nervous.  I  had  leg-irons  as  well  as 
handcuffs  on  him.  I  sent  for  the  train  conductor  and 
brakeman,  and  told  them  I  expected  trouble. 

" '  Well,  I  and  my  crew  are  not  on  this  train  to  get 
shot,  but  I'll  do  what  I  can,'  said  the  conductor. 

"  We  put  Frank  in  the  middle,  Muncie  facing  one  way 
and  I  the  other,  with  our  revolvers  in  our  hands,  well  be- 
yond Frank's  reach. 

" '  Frank,'  I  said, '  if  there's  any  break  here,  some  one 
will  get  killed  before  we  do.' 

"  I  think  he  knew  what  I  meant. 

"  An  hour  passed.  No  one  entered  the  car.  We  had 
scanned  the  faces  of  every  one  in  it,  and  most  of  them 
had  hastened  into  other  cars  after  our  talk  with  the  con- 
ductor. Suddenly  the  front  door  of  the  car  swung  open 
and  in  stepped  Red  Jim  Carroll.  I  had  told  Muncie  if 
they  started  in,  to  jump  to  his  feet  and  fight  them  stand- 
ing, for  a  man  is  as  good  a  target  sitting  as  standing. 
We  both  jumped  up  as  Red  Jim  entered,  Muncie  still 
facing  the  other  way  and  I  facing  Red  Jim.  The  others 
of  his  crowd  were  behind  him. 

"  '  Stop  there,  Jim  ! '  I  ordered. 

"  He  stopped  in  the  doorway,  and  it  was  a  wise  act. 

" «  Good-morning,  Mr.  Murray,'  he  said.  '  Good-morn- 
ing, Mr.  Muncie.' 

"  '  Are  you  looking  for  trouble,  Jim  ? '  said  I. 

" '  No,  Mr.  Murray,  I  am  not  looking  for  trouble,'  he 
answered,  with  a  grin.  '  Will  you  allow  me  to  speak  to 
Frank  ? ' 

" '  Speak  to  him  from  right  there,  Jim,'  said  I. 

"  Meagher  had  been  watching  the  whole  affair.  I  had 
reminded  him  that  he  must  sit  absolutely  quiet  in  the 


THE  FATAL  ROBBERY  OF  THE  DAINS    131 

seat.  When  Muncie  and  I  rose  up  he  had  half  risen, 
but  remembered  in  time  and  sat  back,  watching  all  that 
occurred  with  eager,  encouraging  face  turned  towards 
Red  Jim.  But  when  Carroll  halted  Meagher's  face  grew 
sullen. 

" '  Go  to  hell ! '  he  shouted  at  Red  Jim. 

"  Jim  was  about  to  put  a  hand  in  his  pocket  when  I 
stopped  him,  for  I  did  not  know  what  he  might  draw 
forth,  and  Meagher's  rage  could  easily  have  been  feigned. 

"  '  What  did  you  want  to  get,  Jim  ? '  I  said. 

"  '  I  wanted  to  give  Frank  a  couple  of  hundred  dollars,' 
said  Red  Jim. 

" '  Go  to  hell  with  your  money  ! '  roared  Meagher,  who 
seemingly  was  in  a  terrible  rage  over  the  failure,  thus  far, 
of  the  plot  for  his  rescue. 

"  Still  keeping  Red  Jim  covered,  I  told  him  to  go  no 
lower  than  his  breast  pocket  with  his  hands,  and  to  count 
out  the  money  where  he  stood,  and  I  would  take  it  and 
see  Frank  got  it.  Meagher  shouted  that  he  wanted  none 
of  the  dirty  money  of  a  gang  of  cowards  that  would 
stand  by  and  see  a  friend  dragged  away. 

"  Red  Jim  answered  with  a  touch  of  dignity. 

" '  Sometimes  the  worst  comes  to  the  worst,  Frank, 
and  nothing  can  help  it  just  at  the  time,'  said  Red  Jim. 
'  This  man,  Murray,  is  a  gentleman,  Frank,  and  he  will 
take  no  advantage  of  you,  and  he  will  give  you  a  fair 
show.' 

"  So  saying,  Red  Jim  tossed  the  money  towards  my 
feet,  remarking  I  would  have  to  pardon  him  for  not 
handing  it  to  me. 

"  '  Good-bye,  Jim,'  I  said  pointedly. 

"  He  hesitated,  glanced  at  me  with  a  revolver  in  each 
hand,  then  nodded. 

"  «  Good-bye,  Mr.  Murray,'  he  said.  '  Good-bye,  Frank. 
Good-bye,  Mr.  Muncie.' 

"  He  backed  out  of  the  doorway  and  closed  the  door. 
Meagher  was  beside  himself  with  wrath.  I  picked  up 
the  money  Red  Jim  had  left  for  him,  and  later  I  gave  it 
to  Frank,  and  he  found  it  of  real  use  in  his  defence  by 
able  counsel.     The  train  stopped  at  a  junction.     I  had 


1 32     MEMOIRS  OF  A  GREAT  DETECTIVE 

the  brakeman  bring  our  breakfast  aboard.  As  the  train 
pulled  out  Red  Jim  stood  on  the  platform  and  waved 
good-bye. 

"  We  went  through  to  Buffalo,  and  thence  to  Lewiston 
on  the  Niagara  River,  and  thence  by  boat  to  Toronto. 
As  the  steamer  passed  Old  Fort  Niagara  at  the  mouth 
of  the  river  and  glided  out  into  Lake  Ontario,  Meagher 
stood  on  deck.  The  American  flag  was  flying  over  Fort 
Niagara.  He  raised  his  manacled  hands  and  saluted  the 
flag. 

"  '  God  bless  it ! '  he  said.  '  I  suppose  it's  the  last  time 
I  ever  shall  see  it.  Good-bye !  I'd  rather  I  was  dying 
for  it  than  for  what  I  am  ! ' 

"  He  gazed  after  it  until  it  was  a  mere  speck  against 
the  sky.  He  still  believed  he  could  be  hanged  for  killing 
Dain. 

"  '  Don't  talk  like  that,'  I  said  to  him.  '  You  won't  be 
hung.     English  law  will  treat  you  fairly.' 

"  He  answered  with  a  gloomy  shake  of  the  head.  We 
arrived  safely  in  Toronto,  and  he  was  locked  up  for  trial. 
Dain  was  dead.  We  had  to  have  the  evidence  of  Leavitt 
to  convict  Meagher.  Leavitt,  however,  was  sentenced 
for  life,  and,  being  a  life  prisoner,  he  was  not  a  compe- 
tent witness.  He  was  dead  in  the  eyes  of  the  law,  and 
could  not  testify.  I  went  to  Kingston  and  saw  Leavitt. 
He  yearned  for  liberty,  and  I  told  him  we  had  Meagher 
beyond  doubt.  So  I  returned  to  Toronto,  and  recom- 
mended to  the  Government  that  Leavitt 's  sentence  should 
be  commuted  to  imprisonment  for  ten  years,  to  make 
him  a  competent  witness.  This  was  done.  I  took  Leavitt 
from  Kingston  before  the  police  magistrate,  and  also  took 
the  notorious  Jimmy  Pape,  pickpocket  and  sneak-thief. 
Pape  had  told  a  cock-and-bull  story  in  Kingston  about 
what  he  knew  of  the  case,  but  his  evidence  simply  was 
that  he  met  Meagher  in  Chicago,  and  gave  him  some 
money  to  go  to  South  America.  I  hustled  Jimmy  Pape 
back  to  Kingston  Penitentiary. 

"  '  I  got  a  breath  of  fresh  air  just  the  same,'  said  Jimmy 
on  the  way  back.  « I  had  to  get  it  or  die.  I'd  lie  for  it 
any  time.' 


THE  FATAL  ROBBERY  OF  THE  DAINS    133 

"  Leavitt  told  the  story  of  the  crime,  and  the  evidence 
corroborated  it.  When  Meagher  heard  Leavitt  testify  he 
stood  up  and  swore  a  savage  oath. 

"  '  You  traitor  ! '  he  said.  '  I  will  kill  you  in  this  world 
or  the  next.' 

"  When  it  came  to  the  trial  Keno  Billy,  otherwise  Jake 
Ackermann,  who  had  taken  Meagher's  valise  for  him  at 
the  Senate,  was  missing.  He  had  gone  to  the  States.  I 
went  to  Buffalo,  and  there  met  Bill  Carney,  who  kept  the 
Little  Tammany.  With  Carney  I  went  to  New  York, 
and  used  every  effort  to  get  track  of  Keno  Billy,  dead  or 
alive.  If  he  was  alive,  I  wanted  him  to  testify.  If  they 
had  killed  him  I  wanted  to  know  it.  I  turned  out  the 
Police  Department  in  New  York,  and  I  got  the  gamblers 
and  sports,  Billy  Tracy,  Arthur  Stanley,  and  others,  and 
hunted  all  over,  but  could  find  no  trace  of  Keno  Billy. 
Some  of  Leavitt's  friends  joined  in  the  hunt,  for  they  felt 
that,  if  Meagher  was  convicted  Leavitt  would  get  out. 
They  all  failed  to  find  him.  Keno  Billy  was  dead  to  the 
world  in  which  he  had  lived. 

"  I  finally  set  out  alone,  and  came  across  a  man  named 
Ackermann,  caretaker  and  warden  for  a  nice  little  church 
on  Thirty-fourth  Street,  not  far  from  Broadway,  in  New 
York.  The  name  was  not  in  the  City  Directory,  but  it 
was  on  a  name  plate,  and  I  read  it  as  I  passed.  A 
drowning  man  will  clutch  at  straws,  and  I  walked  into  the 
basement  of  the  church  to  look  for  Keno  Billy,  the  faro 
dealer.  I  found  a  nice  old  lady,  and  I  asked  for  the 
Ackermann  family,  and  whether  they  had  a  son  John 
Jake  Ackermann.     The  old  lady  burst  into  tears. 

"  '  Dear  me  !  dear  me  ! '  she  sobbed.  '  You  are  looking 
for  my  dear  boy  Billy  ! ' 

"  Even  she  called  him  Billy,  thought  I. 

" '  Yes,'  I  answered  her.  '  But  I  mean  him  no  harm. 
Is  he  here  ?  ' 

"  '  No,'  said  she,  sobbing  afresh. 

"  '  Where  is  he  ?  '  I  asked. 

"  '  Dead  and  buried  four  weeks  ago  yesterday,'  said  she. 

" '  Did  he  die  a  natural  death  ? '  I  asked. 

"  '  He  did,'  said  she.     '  He  just  naturally  died.' 


134     MEMOIRS  OF  A  GREAT  DETECTIVE 

"  I  sat  down  and  sympathised  with  her  until  she  showed 
me  the  record  of  his  death,  and  I  then  went  to  verify  it. 
Keno  Billy  indeed  was  dead.  I  returned  to  Toronto 
without  him. 

"  Chief  Justice  Hagarty  presided  at  Meagher's  trial. 
Matthew  Crooks  Cameron,  an  able  lawyer,  afterwards 
judge,  defended  him.  The  defence  was  an  alibi.  They 
swore  Jimmy  O'Neill  from  Detroit,  Tom  Daly,  and  some 
women,  but  it  did  not  work.  Meagher  was  convicted  of 
robbery,  and  on  January  9th,  1878,  he  was  sentenced  to 
eighteen  years  in  Kingston  Penitentiary.  He  served  his 
time,  and  the  last  I  heard  of  him  he  was  near  Cleveland. 
Leavitt  was  pardoned,  after  Meagher's  conviction,  on  my 
suggestion  that  it  would  not  be  safe  for  him  to  stay  in 
Kingston,  as  other  convicts  probably  would  kill  him. 
Leavitt  behaved  for  a  time,  and  then  showed  up  in 
Buffalo,  and  Chief  of  Detectives  Cusack  promptly  drove 
him  out.  His  father  was  respectable,  but  Charlie  always 
was  a  bad  one.  Of  course  he  worshipped  me  after  re- 
gaining his  liberty.  But  some  time  in  this  world,  or  the 
next,  he  and  Meagher  will  meet.  What  a  meeting  it 
will  be ! " 


XXIV 

"AMER!   AMER!   AMER!" 

Far  to  the  north,  over  three  hundred  miles  from  To- 
ronto as  the  crow  flies,  in  the  waters  of  Georgian  Bay  is 
Manitoulin  Island.  Through  the  township  of  Tekemah, 
on  this  island,  winds  a  road  that  was  famous  in  years  past 
for  the  beauty  of  its  scenery.  Twenty-five  years  ago  the 
houses  along  this  road  were  few  and  far  between.  Neigh- 
bours usually  were  from  seven  to  ten  miles  apart.  Here 
and  there  two  families  lived  within  a  mile  of  one  another, 
but  in  the  outlying  sections  of  the  township  this  was  the 
exception  and  not  the  rule.  The  settlers  cleared  the  land 
and  wrestled  with  the  earth,  carving  farms  out  of  the 


"  AMER  !  AMER !  AMER  !  "  1 35 

wilds.  They  were  a  rugged  folk,  courageous  and  patient 
in  their  struggle  with  untamed  nature. 

One  Sunday  morning  in  1877,  a  young  girl  of  the 
family  of  Porters  set  out  to  attend  church  twelve  miles 
away.  It  was  a  bright  sunshiny  June  morning  and  the 
Tekemah  road  stretched  away  like  a  broad  band  of  rib- 
bon upon  which  the  sunlight  and  shadows  beneath  the 
trees  flung  a  web  of  fine-spun  lace.  The  girl  was  sing- 
ing as  she  crossed  the  crest  of  the  hill  and  moved  down 
the  road  where  it  swept  in  graceful  curve  past  the  home 
of  William  Bryan,  nearest  neighbour  to  the  Porters. 
Bryan  was  a  good  neighbour,  a  steadfast  friend  and  ready 
helper.  He  was  a  little,  old  fellow  with  a  squeaky  voice 
and  hair  the  colour  of  a  roan  horse.  He  weighed  less 
than  one  hundred  and  thirty-five  pounds,  but  was  wiry 
and  active,  and  there  were  tales  of  grand  battles  he  had 
fought  in  the  days  of  his  youth.  He  lived  with  his  wife 
and  son  Charlie,  a  young  fellow  of  steady  habits  and 
about  thirty  years  old.  Mrs.  Bryan  was  a  tot  of  a 
woman,  a  mere  mite,  who  seemed  to  grow  smaller  year 
after  year,  until  old  age  threatened  to  shrivel  her  into 
nothingness,  and  when  she  died  she  would  vanish,  leaving 
no  body  for  burial.  She  was  weak  in  her  mind,  and  was 
given  to  spells  of  blackness,  like  the  long,  long  nights  a 
little  farther  north.  Their  home  stood  near  the  road,  so 
situated  that  a  passer-by  could  hail  in  easy  voice  those  in 
the  doorway  or  the  yard. 

The  Porter  girl  came  swinging  down  the  hill.  Mrs. 
Bryan  had  a  habit  of  joining  in  any  noise  she  heard,  and 
once  or  twice  the  girl  in  the  road  paused  to  hear  if  the 
wee  woman  with  the  troubled  mind  had  heard  her  sing- 
ing and  joined  in.  No  answering  voice  greeted  her,  so 
she  moved  on  until,  in  a  rise  in  the  road,  she  came  full 
upon  the  Bryan  home. 

In  the  doorway  sat  the  faded,  shrunken  little  woman 
of  the  troubled  mind.  Her  hair  was  loose  and  dangled 
about  her  face  and  down  upon  her  shoulders.  She  was 
crooning  and  swaying  to  and  fro.  At  times  she  paused, 
threw  back  her  head,  shook  the  long  hair  from  her  face 
and   laughed   a    cackling,    merry   chortle.      Again,   she 


136     MEMOIRS  OF  A  GREAT  DETECTIVE 

bowed  her  head  and  wrung  her  hands  and  tore  her  hair 
and  wept  and  moaned.  Then  she  grew  quiet  again  and 
mechanically  swayed  and  crooned,  and  gazed  vacantly 
out  upon  her  little  world.  The  Porter  girl,  still  singing, 
waved  to  her  and  drew  near.  The  little  woman  of  the 
troubled  mind  began  to  mutter  and  to  grin.  She  waved 
the  singer  back  with  frantic  gesture.  The  girl  glanced 
about  the  yard  and  beheld  two  figures  prone  and  still. 
One  was  old  man  Bryan,  the  other  was  his  son.  The  old 
man's  face  was  upturned,  and  his  eyes  gazed  dully  to- 
wards the  sky.  The  son  lay  face  downward,  arms  ex- 
tended. 

The  girl  rushed  into  the  yard  and  gazed  first  at  the 
father,  then  at  the  son.  They  were  dead,  with  blood 
dyeing  the  earth  beneath  them.  The  girl  turned  to  the 
little  old  woman,  who  sat  in  the  doorway,  tangling  her 
hair. 

"  How  did  it  happen  ?  "  asked  the  girl. 

The  little  old  woman  gazed  at  her  and  burst  into  rip- 
pling laughter. 

"  Amer  !  Amer  !  Amer  !  "  she  laughed. 

"  When  did  it  happen  ?  "  asked  the  girl. 

The  little  old  woman  laughed  on. 

"  Amer  !  Amer  !  Amer  !  "  she  said. 

It  was  all  that  she  would  say.  The  girl  questioned  her 
closely  but  no  other  word  passed  her  lips. 

"Amer!  Amer!  Amer!" 

Sometimes  she  sobbed  it,  sometimes  she  laughed  it, 
sometimes  she  muttered  it  solemnly. 

Back  to  her  own  home  sped  the  Porter  girl  and  told 
her  family  of  the  tragedy,  and  back  to  the  Bryan  farm 
went  the  Porters ;  and  while  some  cared  for  the  bodies, 
others  hastened  for  the  coroner  and  other  neighbours. 
Suspicion  inevitably  fell  upon  the  little  old  woman  of  the 
troubled  mind.  Yet  her  whole  life  was  one  of  gentle- 
ness. She  had  been  known  to  sob  when  a  chicken  was 
killed,  to  weep  when  a  cat  caught  a  mouse,  or  to  cry  out 
if  her  son  struck  one  of  the  horses  with  a  whip.  In  the 
perplexity  of  the  affair,  the  Department  of  Justice  was 
notified,  and  Murray,  who  had  just  returned  from  a  trip 


"AMER!  AMER!  AMER!"  137 

on  the  Meagher  case,  was  directed  to  take  it  up.  He 
went  to  Manitoulin  Island  at  once. 

"  I  drove  out  to  the  Bryan  homestead,"  says  Murray. 
"  There  sat  the  old  woman  in  the  doorway,  her  chickens 
feeding  around  her,  a  cat  beside  her,  a  dog  at  her  feet. 
Some  wild  birds  were  fluttering  about  as  if  she  had  been 
feeding  them,  or  as  if  they  knew  her  and  had  no  fear.  I 
went  to  her  gently  and  sat  down  on  the  step. 

"  '  Amer  !  Amer  !  Amer  ! '  she  murmured  softly. 

"  '  And  where  is  Amer?  '  I  asked  very  gently. 

"  She  looked  cautiously  round  about,  then  moved  the 
cat  back  lest  it  should  hear,  and  leaned  over  and  whis- 
pered in  my  ear : 

"  '  Amer  !  Amer  !  Amer  ! ' 

"  I  spent  an  hour  or  more  with  the  poor  little  lady  and 
all  that  she  could  say  was  this  one  word.  The  dog  kept 
nosing  my  hand  and  I  shoved  him  away  and  bade  him 
sternly  to  sit  down.  She  wept  when  I  spoke  gruffly  to 
the  hound. 

"  The  bodies  had  been  buried.  The  coroner  who  had 
made  the  post-mortem  was  at  Manitowanning.  In  mak- 
ing the  post-mortem  he  had  cut  his  hand  and  blood  poi- 
soning set  in  and  the  results  of  the  post-mortem  were  not 
satisfactory,  so  when  the  bodies  were  exhumed  I  had  a 
second  post-mortem  made.  The  bodies  bore  the  marks 
of  heavy  blows  and  both  father  and  son  had  been  killed 
by  bullets.  Clearly  there  had  been  a  fight  with  strong 
men  and  it  had  culminated  in  revolver  shots.  It  elimi- 
nated the  little  old  woman  from  any  part  in  the  affair. 
Moreover,  I  took  her  muttered  word  as  the  clue  to  solve 
the  case. 

"  '  Amer  ! '  she  had  muttered. 

"  On  a  farm  adjoining  that  of  the  Bryans  lived  George 
Amer  and  his  son  Reuben.  Their  house  was  less  than  a 
mile  from  the  Bryan  farm.  I  began  a  systematic  visiting 
of  all  the  families  thereabouts.  I  learned  that  Amer  and 
Bryan  had  trouble  over  their  boundary  line  and  the  line 
fences,  and  about  the  Amer  cattle  getting  in  and  injuring 
the  Bryan  crops.  Amer  was  a  big  fellow,  massive  and 
strong.       He    formerly    was    chief    constable    of    Owen 


138     MEMOIRS  OF  A  GREAT  DETECTIVE 

Sound.  His  son  Reub  was  about  twenty-four  years  old 
and  of  medium  build.  I  learned  from  a  passing  neigh- 
bour that,  on  the  day  before  the  Porter  girl  had  found  the 
Bryans  dead  in  their  yard,  the  Amer  horses  had  broken 
into  Bryan's  wheat-field,  and  Bryan  and  his  son  im- 
pounded them,  and  were  seen  tying  them  up  in  their 
yard  on  that  Saturday  afternoon  of  June  8th,  1877. 
When  young  Amer  went  to  look  for  the  horses  on  Sat- 
urday night  they  were  gone  and  he  followed  their  trail 
from  the  Bryan  wheat-field  to  the  Bryan  yard.  He  went 
home  and  reported  to  his  father,  who  armed  himself  with 
a  policeman's  club  that  he  kept  in  the  house,  while  the 
son  took  a  revolver.  I  found  a  neighbour  who  saw  them 
skulking  along  near  the  Bryan  yard  on  this  Saturday 
night. 

"  What  happened  then  only  the  poor  little  old  woman 
saw,  and  she  could  not  testify.  But  afterwards  I  learned 
that  the  Amers  demanded  their  horses.  The  Bryans  re- 
fused to  give  them  up,  saying  they  were  impounded.  A 
fight  ensued.  Big  Amer  grappled  with  little  Bryan  and 
the  wiry  old  fellow  was  getting  the  best  of  Amer,  who 
called  to  his  son  Reub.  Young  Bryan  was  struggling 
with  Reub,  who,  when  he  heard  his  father's  cry,  pulled 
his  revolver  and  shot  and  killed  both  Bryans,  and  as  they 
lay  dead  he  emptied  the  revolver  into  them.  Then  the 
Amers  took  their  horses  and  went  home. 

"  I  had  the  Amers  arrested  and  committed  to  Sault 
Ste.  Marie  goal  for  trial.  The  regular  Assizes  were  held 
only  once  a  year  there,  so  the  Government  commissioned 
Judge  McCrea  to  try  the  case.  Amer  was  a  man  who 
was  rich  for  that  section  of  the  country.  He  sent  to 
Toronto  and  employed  the  Hon.  Matthew  Crooks  Cam- 
eron, paying  him  a  big  fee  and  all  expenses.  John  Ham- 
ilton, later  a  judge  and  now  dead,  prosecuted  as  the  Crown 
Attorney  for  that  district.  After  reading  the  depositions, 
Mr.  Cameron  told  his  clients  the  case  would  be  thrown 
out  by  the  grand  jury.  I  differed  from  him.  The  case 
was  wholly  and  purely  a  case  of  circumstantial  evidence, 
but  the  chain  of  circumstances  was  so  complete  as  to  be 
absolutely  convincing.     The  grand  jury  took  this  view 


McPHERSON'S  TELLTALE  TROUSERS     139 

and  found  a  true  bill.  The  motive  of  ill-feeling  and  the 
fight  over  the  horses  was  shown.  The  evidence  showing 
the  Amers  approaching  the  scene  of  the  crime  shortly 
before  the  murder  was  presented.  The  Amers  were 
tried  and  convicted  entirely  upon  circumstantial  evi- 
dence. In  September,  1877,  they  were  sentenced  to  be 
hanged. 

"  Mr.  Cameron,  for  the  Amers,  filed  an  objection  to  the 
legality  of  the  Court  that  tried  them.  He  claimed  the 
Government  had  no  authority  to  commission  a  judge  to 
try  a  case  of  murder.  The  question  was  carried  to  the 
Divisional  Court  and  to  the  Court  of  Appeal,  and  it  was 
held  that  the  commission  was  legal  and  right.  The  sen- 
tence of  the  Amers  was  commuted  to  life  imprisonment. 
Some  years  afterwards,  on  a  strong  petition,  and  aided  by 
political  frjends,  father  and  son  were  released,  and  the  last 
I  heard  of  them  they  were  back  on  the  island  where  the 
crime  occurred. 

"  The  little  old  woman,  of  course,  was  not  called  as  a 
witness,  as  she  was  not  competent.  I  tried  to  glean 
some  of  the  details  from  her  after  the  arrest  of  the 
Amers.  I  even  rehearsed  part  of  the  struggle  in  the 
yard.  She  sat  in  the  doorway  and  screamed  with  child- 
ish delight.  Then  her  mood  changed.  She  dropped  her 
face  in  her  hands. 

" '  Amer  !  Amer  !  Amer  ! '  she  sobbed,  her  hair 
hanging  over  her  like  a  veil  as  she  crouched  and  writhed. 

"  And  'tis  so  I  see  her  still,  doddering  in  the  door- 
way." 


XXV 

McPHERSON'S  TELLTALE  TROUSERS 

Murray  was  at  Manitoulin  Island,  clearing  up  details 
of  the  Amer  case,  when  a  telegram  notified  him  of  an- 
other murder  in  the  township  of  Pickering,  county  of 
Ontario.  It  was  four  hundred  miles  or  more  from  Teke- 
mah,  but  the  next  day  Murray  drove  up  the  Pickering 


i4o     MEMOIRS  OF  A  GREAT  DETECTIVE 

Road,  thirty  miles  from  the  railroad,  to  the  house  where 
the  murder  occurred. 

"  It  was  a  little  house  in  a  lonely  part  of  the  town- 
ship," says  Murray.  "  A  labouring  farmer,  named  Ben- 
nett, lived  there  with  his  wife  and  two  small  children. 
Mrs.  Bennett  was  a  pretty  woman  about  thirty  years  old. 
Her  husband  was  away  working  in  June,  1877,  and  she 
was  alone  in  the  house  with  her  two  little  ones.  About 
midnight  two  men  broke  into  the  house  and  treated  her 
so  horribly,  in  the  presence  of  the  little  children,  that  she 
died  three  days  later.  Her  children  were  too  small  to  be 
able  to  tell  about  the  crime.  Mrs.  Bennett,  however, 
rallied,  and  described  the  two  men  minutely,  and  finally, 
in  her  ante-mortem  statement,  she  said  they  were  two 
young  men  named  Burk  and  McPherson,  sons  of  well- 
known  farmers  in  that  vicinity. 

"  I  saw  at  once  that,  with  the  woman  dead  and  her 
children  too  young  to  testify,  we  would  have  nothing  but 
her  ante-mortem  statement ;  and  while  it  was  strong  and 
convincing  the  accused  had  friends,  and  they  were  rally- 
ing to  make  a  desperate  fight,  with  scores  of  living 
against  a  dead  woman's  word.     I  laid  my  plans. 

"  Burk  and  McPherson  were  arrested.  I  had  them 
separated  at  once,  and  then  had  each  state  in  detail  his 
movements  on  the  day  and  night  of  the  murder  of  Mrs. 
Bennett.  I  accepted  all  they  said  in  apparent  credulity. 
Their  confidence  grew  as  they  saw  me  seem  to  weaken 
in  any  belief  that  they  were  guilty  of  the  crime.  They 
lied  beautifully,  lied  valiantly,  lied  so  completely  that  I 
knew  I  had  them  where  their  word  on  the  witness  stand 
would  be  blasted  and  worthless.  However,  I  noted  care- 
fully the  movements  of  each  as  he  dictated  them.  Then 
I  compared  them.  They  vowed  they  were  not  together 
at  certain  hours,  and  were  in  certain  places  at  certain 
times.  I  set  out  and  spent  days  in  following  these  fic- 
titious movements  of  these  two  men.  I  disproved  them, 
step  by  step.  I  found  people  who  saw  them  together 
when  they  averred  they  were  apart.  I  found  people  who 
saw  them  in  places  where  they  stoutly  maintained  they 
had   not   been.     In   short,  I    incapacitated   the  pair  as 


McPHERSON'S  TELLTALE  TROUSERS     141 

worthy  witnesses.  I  had  them  ;  so  the  word  of  one  dead 
woman  was  better  than  the  word  of  the  two  live  men. 

"  I  searched  their  houses  and  the  premises  round  about 
for  evidence  that  would  corroborate  the  dead  woman's 
word.  Hid  away  in  McPherson's  mother's  house,  John 
Hodgins,  one  of  our  Toronto  officers,  found  a  pair  of  his 
trousers.  They  were  of  a  kind  very  fashionable  then, 
but  would  appear  rather  ridiculous  now.  They  were 
light  woollen,  washable  and  very  baggy,  in  fact,  balloon- 
like in  their  leg  effects.  They  had  been  washed.  I 
took  them  out  in  the  sunlight,  and  despite  the  washing 
I  detected  what  I  believed  were  stains.  McPherson's 
trousers  were  taken  to  Professor  Ellis,  then  assistant  to 
Professor  Croft,  at  the  School  of  Practical  Science  in 
Toronto.  He  analysed  the  stain  and  discovered  it  was 
blood,  and  further  that  it  was  the  blood  of  a  woman. 

"  The  trial  was  postponed,  but  finally  held  in  May, 
1878,  at  Whitby.  Chief  Justice  Harrison  presided.  B.  B. 
Britton,  now  a  judge,  prosecuted  for  the  Crown.  The 
Hon.  Matthew  Crooks  Cameron  defended.  Mr.  Cam- 
eron, as  in  the  Amer  case,  told  his  clients  the  grand  jury 
would  not  find  a  true  bill.  Again  he  was  mistaken.  It 
was  a  tedious  trial.  We  swore  many  witnesses  to  trace 
their  movements  and  contradict  them  flatly  in  their  story 
of  where  they  had  been  on  the  day  of  the  tragedy. 
When  McPherson's  stained  trousers  were  produced  they 
swore  in  rebuttal  that  McPherson  had  killed  a  rat,  and 
that  the  blood  stains  were  the  stains  of  rat's  blood,  and 
not  of  woman's  blood.  Dr.  Ellis  positively  swore  the 
stains  were  not  rat's  blood.  The  jury  so  believed,  and 
Burk  and  McPherson  were  found  guilty  and  sentenced  to 
be  hanged  on  June  14th,  1878.  Both  sentences,  how- 
ever, were  commuted  to  life  imprisonment,  and  after 
both  had  served  long  terms  they  got  out. 

"  Interest  in  this  case  grew  and  became  wide-spread  in 
the  States  and  Canada,  because  of  the  point  of  chemical 
analysis  involved.  It  was  one  of  the  most  advanced  cases 
known  at  that  time.  It  was  expert  testimony,  of  course, 
but  it  was  founded  on  a  precise  science,  and  therefore 
certain  and  accurate.     Some  expert  testimony  becomes 


142     MEMOIRS  OF  A  GREAT  DETECTIVE 

largely  a  matter  of  opinion,  but  that  opinion  is  based  on 
trained  judgment,  skilled  discernment,  and  scientific 
methods  for  ascertaining  the  truth.  Experts  may  differ 
honestly,  and  here  and  there  an  expert  or  two  may  differ 
otherwise.  But  the  testimony  of  competent  experts, 
known  to  be  men  of  ability  and  integrity,  like  Dr.  Ellis, 
is  as  valuable  as  the  testimony  of  worthless  witnesses  is 
valueless. 

"  At  this  time  I  was  opposed  in  three  prominent  cases 
by  the  Hon.  Matthew  Crooks  Cameron.  They  were  the 
Meagher  case,  the  Amer  case,  and  the  Burk  and  Mc- 
Pherson  case.  In  each  case  he  defended.  He  was  the 
greatest  criminal  lawyer  in  those  days.  Almost  invaria- 
bly he  appeared  for  the  accused.  Later  he  became  a 
judge,  and  died  in  the  fulness  of  his  powers  and  fame. 
When  a  judge  he  seemed  to  feel  instinctively  that  he  was 
concerned  in  the  prisoner's  defence.  Hence  he  was  not 
always  very  satisfactory  to  the  prosecution  in  a  criminal 
case,  yet  he  was  an  able  man.  It  was  force  of  habit  as- 
serting itself  unconsciously,  and  was  not  intentional  par- 
tiality, for  he  was  a  man  of  integrity. 

"  Judges  run  that  way,  just  as  do  men  in  other  walks 
of  life.  Early  training  asserts  itself  in  the  judge's  career 
on  the  bench,  particularly  in  regard  to  his  attitude  to- 
wards persons  accused  of  crime.  Perhaps  I  should  say 
his  point  of  view,  rather  than  his  attitude.  The  point  of 
view  of  each  of  us  is  our  view-point,  or  the  position  from 
which  we  view  a  matter,  and  that  position  is  determined 
by  our  career  up  to  the  time  we  come  to  consider  the 
case  presented  to  us.  We  adjust  our  views  of  a  criminal 
case  according  to  our  judgment,  and  my  experience  is 
that  the  judgment  of  a  judge  is  formed  on  a  foundation 
in  which  the  corner-stone  is  the  substance  of  his  training 
prior  to  going  upon  the  bench. 

"  The  machinery  of  justice  makes  few  slips,  after  all. 
It  has  a  gigantic  task,  for  to  it  is  assigned  the  perpetual 
adjustment  of  human  rights  and  wrongs.  If  either  hand 
of  the  blindfolded  goddess  were  to  symbolise  criminal 
justice,  it  is  the  right  hand  with  the  sword.  I  have  seen 
it  strike  with  the  swiftness  of  a  lightning  flash.     I  have 


GLENGARRY  WRECKED  THE  CIRCUS     143 

seen  it  hover  like  the  sword  of  Damocles,  suspended  by 
a  thread  for  years  before  it  falls.  In  these  three  cases  in 
which  the  Hon.  Matthew  Crooks  Cameron  was  pitted 
against  us,  I  sometimes  think  that  justice  showed  its  cer- 
tainty. Years  passed  in  one,  a  thread  of  circumstantial 
evidence  held  true  in  another,  and  truth  prevailed  in  the 
third ;  while  in  all  three  justice  was  done,  and  the 
heavens  did  not  fall." 


XXVI 
WHEN  GLENGARRY  WRECKED  THE  CIRCUS 

The  men  from  Glengarry  met  Murray  for  the  first  time 
in  the  summer  of  1877,  and  the  acquaintance  formed 
then  ripened  into  friendship,  and  has  strengthened 
throughout  the  years.  The  Glengarry  lads  were  famous 
fighters  in  the  bygone  days,  and  it  was  through  a  fight, 
that  lives  to  this  day  in  the  history  of  the  county,  that 
Murray  went  among  them.  There  are  firesides  in  Glen- 
garry where  old  men  sit  in  the  winter  evenings  and  spin, 
among  their  tales  of  prowess,  the  yarn  of  the  great  battle 
of  1877,  when  the  men  of  Glengarry  fought  the  travelling 
circus,  and  drove  it,  beasts  and  all,  out  of  Cornwall. 
Many  a  scar  is  cherished  as  a  souvenir  of  that  fray.  A 
thousand  times  beyond  count  have  the  children  heard 
how  Danny  McLeod  seized  the  lion  by  the  tail  and 
twisted  it  until  the  big  beast  roared. 

John  O'Brien,  of  Philadelphia,  was  the  owner  of  the 
circus.  It  was  travelling  through  Canada,  and  pitched  its 
tents  in  Cornwall,  the  county  seat  of  three  counties  — 
Glengarry,  Stormont,  and  Dundas,  fifty  miles  west  of 
Montreal.  The  lumbermen  and  shanty-men  had  come 
out  of  the  woods  with  their  winter's  wage  in  their 
pockets.  They  were  stalwart  lusty  fellows,  and  they  gath  - 
ered  from  far  and  near  to  see  the  circus  in  Cornwall. 
They  strode  the  streets  in  gorgeous  red  or  rainbow 
shirts.     They  saw  the  grand  parade  in  the  morning,  and 


144     MEMOIRS  OF  A  GREAT  DETECTIVE 

joked  about  freak  features  that  caught  their  eye.  There 
was  no  talk  of  trouble,  no  premonition  of  a  row.  The 
men  of  the  woods  were  out  for  a  jolly  day,  expecting  to 
bother  nobody,  and  expecting  nobody  to  bother  them. 
They  formed  in  a  long  line  by  the  ticket  waggon  to  buy 
the  red  pasteboards  for  admission  to  the  tent.  Some  fell 
out  of  line  to  wrestle  or  spar  good-naturedly,  but  all  were 
waiting  their  turn. 

A  shout  at  the  other  side  of  the  big  tent  steadied  the 
line.  It  was  the  cry  of  a  Glengarry  man.  Following  it 
came  the  crack,  crack,  crack,  of  heavy  blows,  and  around 
the  side  of  the  tent  appeared  one  of  their  men,  backing 
away,  and  whirling  a  long  tent  stake,  as  he  came.  Pur- 
suing him  were  three  circus-men,  each  with  a  club. 
Blood  gushed  from  a  big  slash  across  the  Glengarry's 
face.  He  was  shaking  it  off  as  he  swung  the  heavy 
stake.  He  dared  not  turn  his  head  to  look  for  help,  but 
with  eyes  set  and  arms  waving  he  whirled  his  weapon  so 
that  the  three  circus-men  were  held  at  bay.  A  flap  in 
the  big  tent  was  raised  as  he  passed ;  a  fourth  circus-man 
crept  out  behind  the  Glengarry,  and  as  the  stake  swung 
around  the  newcomer  dealt  him  a  heavy  blow  with  a 
club,  and  he  went  down  like  a  log. 

A  roar  burst  from  the  line  of  lumbermen,  a  roar  like 
that  of  the  entire  circus  menagerie  if  the  beasts  had 
howled  in  unison.  The  line  quivered,  swayed,  and  broke. 
In  a  wild  rush  the  lumbermen  sprang  forward,  seizing 
clubs,  tearing  up  tent  stakes,  jerking  out  poles  and  pins 
and  stanchions.  The  four  circus-men  yelled  for  help, 
and  out  of  the  big  tent  swarmed  canvas-men,  helpers, 
acrobats  in  tights,  gymnasts  in  tinsel,  clowns  in  paint  and 
powder — every  man  the  show  could  muster.  They  were 
needed,  too.  The  lumbermen  had  formed  in  long  open 
lines,  like  fire-fighters,  and  they  moved  into  the  thick  of 
the  tangle  of  men  and  ropes  and  canvas,  beating  right 
and  left  with  their  long  clubs.  The  weapons  rose  and 
fell,  whack,  whack,  whack,  falling  with  terrific  force,  smit- 
ing whatever  was  within  reach.  When  a  man  in  the  line 
fell  another  stepped  forward  into  his  place. 

"  Herd  them  !     Herd  them  !  "  was  the  cry. 


GLENGARRY  WRECKED  THE  CIRCUS     145 

The  lumbermen  were  striving  to  surround  the  circus- 
men  and  drive  them  into  a  huddled  mass,  and  then — 
woe  betide  them  !  The  force  of  the  onslaught,  the  im- 
pact of  the  furious  assault,  drove  the  circus-men  back  to 
the  side  of  the  big  tent,  so  that  when  the  lumbermen 
beat  them  in  on  three  sides  they  had  the  tent  behind 
them.  There  were  mighty  deeds  of  daring  done  that 
day.  Shanty  Donald,  it  is  told,  took  five  cracks  on  the 
skull  and  laid  three  circus-men  out  in  a  struggle  where 
they  had  him  three  to  one.  Big  McGregor  seized  an 
acrobat  by  the  neck,  and  flung  him  skyward,  and  when 
he  alighted  he  wildly  begged  for  mercy.  The  strong 
man  in  the  side  show  seized  little  Joe  Sumac,  and,  when 
they  fell  apart,  the  strong  man's  left  arm  hung  limp  and 
useless,  snapped  below  the  elbow.  One  revolver  flashed, 
and  before  it  banged  again,  the  circus-man  who  held  it 
lay  senseless,  with  his  face  trampled  like  a  cleavered 
beefsteak. 

The  circus-men  retreated  under  the  flaps  of  the  tent  as 
the  lumbermen  crowded  them.  Knotty  O'Brien,  of 
Glengarry,  one  of  the  foremost  in  the  lumbermen's  line, 
dived  under  head  first.  His  feet  suddenly  flew  up,  his 
limbs  jerked,  and  he  lay  still.  The  lumbermen  fought  up 
to  where  he  lay,  and  they  smote  the  canvas  side  of  the 
tent  with  mighty  blows,  ripping  it  to  shreds,  and  as  it 
tore  away  they  saw  little  O'Brien  gasp,  half  rise,  choke 
and  fall  back  dead.  None  spoke,  none  shouted  as  they 
beat  before  them.  It  was  like  a  battle  of  mutes.  Slowly 
they  fought  their  way  into  the  tent,  when  from  the 
menagerie  came  the  keepers  with  the  elephants,  and 
rushed  the  great  beasts  to  the  front,  and  ran  them  to  and  fro. 

"  'Tis  like  smiting  a  mountain  !  "  quoth  Big  McGregor, 
as  he  drove  his  stake  against  the  towering  hulk.  The 
next  instant  Big  McGregor  was  flying  skyward  higher 
than  he  had  tossed  the  tinselled  acrobat.  He  came  down 
with  a  thud,  and  plunged  in  again. 

"  The  lions  !  the  lions  !  "  shouted  the  circus-men,  and 
it  is  related  that  sure  enough,  a  big  beast  came  slouching 
forward  with  a  keeper  at  his  side. 

In  the  tale  as  it  is  told,  forward  sprang  Danny  McLeod 


146     MEMOIRS  OF  A  GREAT  DETECTIVE 

and  faced  the  king  of  beasts.  Even  the  men  of  Glen- 
garry paused.  The  lion  shook  his  massive  head  and 
tawny  mane.  Danny  suddenly  struck  the  keeper  full  in 
the  pit  of  the  stomach  with  his  boot,  and  seized  the  lion 
by  the  tail  and  twisted  it  around  and  around.  With  a 
roar  of  rage  and  pain  the  king  of  beasts  wheeled  and 
fled,  galloping  pell-mell  back  to  his  cage,  and  clambering 
into  it.  But  the  elephants  won  the  day.  Both  sides 
drew  off,  and  the  circus  left  Cornwall.  Little  O'Brien 
was  buried,  and  the  lumbermen  sat  them  down  to  nurse 
their  wounds  and  heal  their  scars. 

"  It  was  learned  some  time  after  the  battle,"  says  Mur- 
ray, "  that  the  man  who  struck  O'Brien  was  Louis  Kipp, 
a  canvas-man,  a  fellow  so  short,  and  yet  so  stout,  that  he 
seemed  as  broad  as  he  was  long.  He  was  about  twenty- 
eight  years  old,  and  weighed  about  one  hundred  and 
seventy  pounds.  He  had  been  one  of  the  circus-men 
who  fought  without  flinching,  blow  for  blow.  The  final 
evidence  that  it  was  he  who  struck  O'Brien  was  obtained 
from  a  witness  early  in  1878,  and  in  March,  1878,  I  was 
instructed  to  locate  him.  I  had  nothing  but  his  name 
and  a  poor  description.  I  went  first  to  Philadelphia  and 
saw  John  O'Brien,  the  circus-man.  He  said  he  knew 
nothing  of  Kipp,  that  his  head  canvas-man  hired  men 
anywhere  and  paid  them  off  anywhere.  I  found  his 
head  canvas-man  at  Newark,  in  New  Jersey.  He  remem- 
bered the  fight,  and  remembered  Louis  Kipp. 

" '  He  fought  a  good  fight,  too,'  said  the  head  canvas- 
man. 

"  He  thought  Louis  was  a  Pennsylvania  Dutchman 
from  Bucks  County  or  Lancaster  in  Pennsylvania.  He 
had  heard  Louis  speak  of  this  section  of  the  country,  but 
knew  nothing  more  about  him,  and  said  he  had  not  seen 
Louis  since  the  fight  at  Cornwall.  He  claimed  the  cir- 
cus-men had  fought  in  self-defence.  I  went  to  Easton, 
Pa.,  to  an  old  friend  of  mine,  Jake  Johnson,  chief  of 
police.  Jake  knew  that  entire  country.  He  had  served 
in  the  Molly  Maguire  business,  and  was  just  voluntarily 
giving  it  up  at  that  time.  Jake  agreed  to  go  with  me  in 
a  search  of  the  two  counties  for  Louis  Kipp. 


GLENGARRY  WRECKED  THE  CIRCUS    147 

"  Jake  and  I  started  out  on  Sunday,  March  17th,  1878, 
St.  Patrick's  Day.  It  was  raining  hard.  We  had  a 
cracking  good  team.  We  drove  all  day  from  place  to 
place,  and  at  nightfall  came  to  a  little  tavern  away  up  in 
the  mountains,  and  decided  to  stay  there  all  night.  As 
we  were  putting  up  our  team  we  got  our  first  trace  of  the 
whereabouts  of  Louis.  A  lot  of  fellows  were  in  the  tav- 
ern celebrating  St.  Patrick's  Day ;  and  one  of  them  told 
us  that  a  fellow  named  Louis  Kipp  worked  for  a  farmer 
about  ten  miles  farther  on,  over  the  mountain.  We  were 
forty  miles  or  more  from  Easton.  We  pledged  every- 
body's health  in  the  tavern,  and  took  the  fellow  with  us 
to  show  the  way.  It  poured  like  a  deluge  for  the  entire 
ten  miles.  Finally  we  came  to  a  big  farm  with  a  great 
farmhouse  and  tremendous  barns.  We  banged  on  the 
door,  and  my  mind  went  back  to  Dixmont  at  the  other 
end  of  the  same  State.  A  nightcapped  head  popped  out 
of  a  window,  and  asked  in  German  who  was  there  and 
what  was  wanted.  We  answered  that  we  wanted  to  see 
Louis  Kipp,  if  he  lived  there. 

"  '  He  lives  here,  but  he  and  his  girl  are  out  together 
for  a  walk,'  was  the  reply. 

"  It  was  after  midnight,  and  raining  hard.  The  farmer, 
however,  invited  us  in,  and  had  us  put  up  our  team. 
Then  he  brought  cider,  and  headcheese  and  gingerbread, 
and  we  sat  in  a  huge  room  with  a  big  fireplace,  and  sipped 
cider  and  munched  headcheese  and  gingerbread  while  we 
waited  for  Louis.  An  hour  passed,  but  no  sign  of  Louis. 
Our  host  explained  that  Louis's  girl  also  lived  in  the 
house,  and  that  every  Sunday  evening  they  went  spoon- 
ing, rain  or  shine.  Another  hour  passed.  It  was  after 
two  o'clock.     Our  host  smoked  on  unconcernedly. 

" '  Sometimes  they  spoon  till  dawn,'  he  said  in  German. 
'  It  is  the  way  of  unmarried  love.' 

"  He  told  us  of  some  fine  currant  wine  he  had  in  his 
cellar,  and  at  length  he  insisted  on  getting  some  of  it. 
He  took  a  candle  and  disappeared  into  the  cellar.  Pres- 
ently he  reappeared  without  the  wine,  and  in  great  ex- 
citement. He  beckoned  us  to  follow  noiselessly.  We 
did  so,  tiptoeing  softly  down  the  cellar  stairs.     It  was  a 


148     MEMOIRS  OF  A  GREAT  DETECTIVE 

vast,  cavernous  place,  with  rows  of  huge  hogsheads,  like 
vats  or  cisterns.  He  led  us  among  them  to  a  remote  cor- 
ner, then  held  up  his  hand  and  pointed  to  a  hogshead  re- 
clining on  its  side.  We  stepped  silently  up,  and  peeped 
in  while  he  held  the  candle.  I  never  will  forget  the  sight. 
There  sat  Louis  and  his  girl,  their  arms  around  one 
another,  her  head  on  his  shoulder,  both  sound  asleep,  both 
with  their  mouths  wide  open,  both  snoring  sonorously, 
inside  this  big  hogshead. 

" '  Beautiful,  is  it  not  so  ? '  said  our  host  in  German. 

"  He  gazed  enraptured  on  this  picture  of  bliss.  Then 
suddenly  he  sneezed  a  loud,  resounding  sneeze  that  blew 
out  the  candle.  Louis,  in  the  hogshead,  awoke  with  a 
snort,  as  did  his  girl.  We  bumped  amid  the  hogsheads 
until  our  host  relighted  the  candle. 

"  '  Pardon  !  pardon  ! '  he  exclaimed  in  German.  '  Every 
time  I  see  true  love  it  makes  me  sneeze.  I  feel  myself 
about  to  cry  for  joy,  and  when  I  would  not  cry,  but 
almost,  then  I  sneeze  at  the  tickles  of  the  nose  from  tears.' 

"  Louis  and  his  girl,  yawning  and  sheepish,  followed  us 
up  to  the  big  room.  There  Louis  hugged  his  girl  until  I 
thought  he  would  crush  her  short  ribs,  kissed  her  with  a 
resounding  smack,  waited  while  she  kissed  him  with 
equal  explosion,  and  then  said  : 

" '  Goot-night.' 

"  She  went  to  bed.  In  the  talk  that  followed  I  must 
confess  I  lied  a  little  to  Louis. 

"  '  Louis,'  I  said,  '  you  were  with  John  O'Brien's  circus 
last  year  ? ' 

"  '  Yah,  yah,'  grunted  Louis,  who  spoke  in  broken 
English. 

" '  Do  you  remember  a  fight  in  Cornwall,  Canada?'  I 
asked. 

"  Louis's  face  lighted  up. 

" '  Yah,  yah,'  he  grunted.  '  T'at  vas  te  tamtest  fight  I 
efer  see.  Ve  pull  out  t'e  stakes  und  ve  get  t'e  pest  of  it, 
but  t'ey  fight  like  t'e  vild  men  ofer  t'ere.' 

"  I  said  that  one  fellow  had  been  badly  hurt  among  the 
circus-men,  and  some  fellows  were  arrested,  and  I  wanted 
Louis  to  come  over  for  the  trial. 


GLENGARRY  WRECKED  THE  CIRCUS    149 

" '  I  got  no  money,'  said  Louis.  '  I  gif  it  all  to  my 
girl.' 

"  I  said  I  would  pay  all  the  expenses.  Louis  was  de- 
lighted. The  farmer  said  he  could  go.  Louis  called  up 
the  stairs  to  his  girl,  excitedly  told  her  of  the  fine  trip  he 
was  going  to  take,  told  her  to  take  good  care  of  his 
money  while  he  was  gone,  and  then  hurried  out,  hitched 
up  our  team,  and  we  started  back  to  Easton  at  dawn. 
Louis  was  eager  to  go.  I  have  often  thought  since,  that 
he  never  realised,  when  the  frenzy  of  the  circus  fight  was 
over,  that  he  had  struck  a  fatal  blow,  and  he  honestly 
believed  he  was  going  back  to  Cornwall  to  testify  for  an- 
other. He  stuck  to  me  night  and  day,  afraid  lest  he  should 
lose  me  and  miss  the  trip.  We  arrived  in  Cornwall  on 
March  20th.  There  I  told  him  that  it  was  he  who  was 
to  be  tried. 

"  '  Mein  Gott ! '  said  Louis.  '  Von't  I  efer  git  back  to 
my  girl  and  my  money  ?  ' 

"  That  was  all  that  worried  him.  He  was  very  good, 
and  gave  me  no  trouble.  He  pleaded  guilty  to  man- 
slaughter, and  I  got  him  off  with  one  year  in  gaol. 

" '  I  remember  now  t'e  little  fellow  vat  I  hit,'  he  told 
me,  after  hearing  the  details  of  the  charge  against  him. 
'  It  vas  too  bad  he  die.  He  vas  a  goot  fighter.  I  vould 
radder  it  haf  been  one  of  t'e  fellows  who  hang  back  and 
not  fight.' 

"  When  Louis  got  out  of  gaol  he  hied  himself  back  to 
his  girl  and  his  money  in  Pennsylvania. 

"  Jake  Johnson,  of  Easton,  was  glad  to  oblige  me  in 
the  matter  of  finding  Louis.  For  in  January,  1878,  two 
months  before  I  started  after  Louis,  Jake  had  been  over 
in  Canada  for  a  man  by  the  name  of  Gillard,  of  Easton, 
who  was  a  refugee  from  justice  from  Pennsylvania.  Gil- 
lard had  come  to  Canada,  and  found  employment  as  a 
carriage  maker  with  a  man  named  Dixon,  of  Oakville, 
twenty  miles  from  Toronto.  The  crime  of  which  he  was 
accused  was  serious,  but  did  not  come  under  extradition, 
although  Jake  Johnson  was  very  anxious  to  get  him. 

"  I  had  been  laid  up  with  typhoid  fever,  but  in  Jan- 
uary, 1878,  I  was  able  to  get  out,  and  Jake  came  to  To- 


150     MEMOIRS  OF  A  GREAT  DETECTIVE 

ronto  ;  and  we  went  to  Oakville  and  saw  Mr.  Dixon. 
He  appeared  to  be  quite  willing  to  aid  us  after  hearing 
of  the  serious  charge  against  Gillard.  Arrangements 
were  made  to  land  Gillard  in  some  part  of  the  United 
States.  He  would  suspect  if  Suspension  Bridge  were 
chosen  as  the  place,  so  Ogdensburg  was  selected.  Mr. 
Dixon  took  Gillard  with  him,  ostensibly  on  a  business 
trip  about  waggons.  I  accompanied  them.  It  was  bitter 
cold  weather.  On  January  23d  we  crossed  the  St.  Law- 
rence River  at  Prescott.  Jake  Johnson  was  on  the  Amer- 
ican side.  He  had  the  papers  for  Gillard's  arrest,  with 
a  requisition  from  the  Governor  of  Pennsylvania  on  the 
Governor  of  New  York.  Instead  of  keeping  these  papers 
until  train  time,  Johnson  foolishly  got  a  policeman  in 
Ogdensburg,  and  had  Gillard  arrested  and  put  in  the 
lockup.  I  foresaw  trouble.  Gillard  had  no  inkling  of 
what  was  in  store  for  him  until  he  was  arrested,  and  then 
he  promptly  sent  for  a  lawyer,  a  prominent  attorney 
named  Kellogg.  Gillard  told  Mr.  Kellogg  he  had  been 
kidnapped  out  of  Canada.  He  told  of  my  coming  over, 
of  Dixon's  part  in  the  matter,  and  of  Jake  Johnson. 
His  lawyer  caused  warrants  to  be  issued  for  the  entire 
party.  They  arrested  Dixon  and  Johnson,  and  were 
looking  for  your  humble  servant,  but  I  was  over  the 
river. 

"  The  first  intimation  I  had  of  what  was  happening  to 
Johnson  was  when  this  telegram  from  Jake  was  handed 
to  me  aboard  the  Grand  Trunk  train  : 

" *  I  am  in  the  Ogdensburg  gaol  for  kidnapping. 
What  shall  I  do  ?  ' 

"  I  answered,  '  Employ  counsel  and  fight.' 

"  At  almost  every  station  I  received  a  frantic  telegram 
from  Jake,  and  I  answered  them  all  with  the  same  advice. 
They  had  him  locked  up,  all  right.  Dixon  gave  the 
affair  away,  saying  he  was  induced  to  get  Gillard  over 
the  line  as  a  special  favour  to  me.  They  released  Dixon, 
but  they  held  on  to  Johnson.  Jake  telegraphed  me 
almost  hourly.  They  committed  him  for  the  grand  jury, 
and  then  released  him  on  bail,  and  gave  him  no  end  of 
trouble.     I  looked  into  it  in  the  meantime.     When  the 


THE  DISAPPEARING  STORES  151 

matter  finally  came  before  the  grand  jury  they  ignored 
the  bill  against  Jake.  Gillard,  in  the  interval,  had  been 
discharged,  but  he  was  arrested  subsequently,  and  was 
held.  After  a  great  deal  of  trouble  and  litigation  he 
was  handed  over  to  the  Pennsylvania  authorities.  Jake 
Johnson  had  the  satisfaction  of  seeing  him  tried  and  con- 
victed. 

"  Gillard  was  very  different  from  Louis  Kipp.  He  was 
quite  unwilling  to  go  back  to  Pennsylvania,  whereas 
Louis,  during  his  year's  sojourn  in  Canada,  dreamed  con- 
stantly of  the  big  farmhouse  and  his  rosy-cheeked,  buxom 
Dutch  girl,  and  his  money,  and  the  big  hogshead  in  the 
cellar,  where  they  spooned,  and  slept,  and  snored." 


XXVII 
THE  DISAPPEARING  STORES 

The  night  express  from  Montreal  was  puffing  into 
Cornwall,  and  Murray,  who  had  finished  with  the  case  of 
Louis  Kipp,  was  waiting  in  the  station  to  return  to  To- 
ronto, when  a  telegram  was  handed  to  him.  It  was  from 
George  F.  Marter,  formerly  leader  of  the  Conservative 
or  Opposition  party  in  Parliament,  and  now  manager  of 
the  Lancashire  Insurance  Company  of  Toronto.  It 
simply  stated  that  the  general  store  at  Gravenhurst  had 
been  cleaned  out  by  unknown  thieves. 

"  A  short  time  before,"  says  Murray,  "  thieves  had  plun- 
dered a  harness  shop  in  Gravenhurst.  All  that  remained 
of  the  shop  was  the  frame  of  the  building.  Every  scrap 
of  stock  had  vanished  in  a  single  night ;  collars,  harness, 
whips,  blankets,  everything  in  the  store  had  been  taken. 
Lethbridge  was  a  little  place,  six  miles  from  Gravenhurst 
and  about  one  hundred  and  thirty  miles  north  of  Toronto. 
Mr.  Marter  and  his  partner,  Hull,  had  a  timber  limit  and 
sawmill  there.  In  connection  with  the  mill  in  Leth- 
bridge they  started  a  general  store  in  Gravenhurst.  The 
goods  were  bought  at  wholesale  houses  in  Montreal  and 


152     MEMOIRS  OF  A  GREAT  DETECTIVE 

Toronto,  and  were  shipped  to  Gravenhurst,  and  delivered 
into  the  general  store.  They  were  not  unpacked,  but 
were  still  in  their  boxes  when  they  vanished  as  the  har- 
ness shop  had  vanished.  It  was  in  May,  1878.  I  went 
on  through  Toronto  to  Gravenhurst,  arriving  the  next 
day.  Mr.  Marter  met  me  and  we  went  to  the  store.  It 
had  been  cleared  out,  big  boxes  and  little  boxes  ;  almost 
the  entire  stock  had  been  stolen.  My  mind  went  back 
to  the  old  days  in  Erie,  and  I  wondered  if  George  Knapp 
had  moved  to  Canada  and  settled  somewhere  in  the  vi- 
cinity of  Lethbridge.  Knapp  was  the  only  man  I  ever 
had  seen  who  would  feel  equal  to  stealing  a  harness  shop 
and  then  a  general  store. 

"  I  asked  Marter  to  let  me  talk  during  the  day  with  all 
the  men  in  his  employ.  I  went  with  him  to  his  mill  at 
Lethbridge,  and  began  with  the  head  sawyer  and  the  tail 
sawyer,  and  then  the  teamsters,  and  then  the  other  men, 
getting  their  ideas  and  opinions,  and  asking  if  they  knew 
of  any  strangers  in  the  vicinity.  They  all  passed  muster 
with  me  except  one  fellow,  a  big  teamster  named  George 
Rose.  His  eyes  were  too  small  and  too  quick,  and  his 
story  was  too  smooth.  He  said  nothing  to  cast  suspicion 
on  himself.  On  the  contrary  his  talk  was  very  plausible. 
But  of  all  the  men  he  was  the  one  whose  looks  I  did  not 
like.  I  thought  him  over  carefully,  and  finally  I  went,  alone, 
to  his  house.  He  was  married  and  lived  in  a  house  among 
the  rocks,  about  a  mile  from  the  sawmill,  in  a  picturesque, 
out-of-the-way,  inaccessible  place.  He  and  his  wife  and  a 
seven-year-old  boy  lived  there.  I  hunted  around,  look- 
ing for  signs  of  fresh  digging  or  traces  of  newly-turned 
earth.  I  found  not  a  sign,  not  a  clue,  not  a  single  thread. 
Back  to  Toronto  I  went,  empty  handed. 

"  I  turned  the  case  over  in  my  mind  night  and  day. 
Whenever  I  thought  of  it  there  seemed  to  rise  in  my 
vision  the  face  of  Rose,  with  the  sneaky  eyes.  I  kept 
thinking  of  him  until  my  suspicion  grew  to  a  moral  cer- 
tainty. Back  I  went  to  Lethbridge.  I  went  straight  to 
Rose's  house  and  walked  in.  His  wife  was  there.  I 
spoke  of  the  robbery  of  Marter's  store.  She  replied  it 
was  wonderful  to  think  it  could  be  done.     I  called  the 


THE  DISAPPEARING  STORES  153 

little  boy.  He  was  a  nice  child,  with  a  strong  English 
accent. 

"  '  This  is  not  your  boy  ? '  I  said  to  Mrs.  Rose,  when  I 
heard  him  speak. 

" '  Oh  no,'  said  she.  '  We  adopted  him  from  Miss  Rye 
at  Belleville.' 

"  The  lad  chatted  with  me,  telling  me  of  the  ship  on 
which  he  came  over.  I  lingered  around  the  house,  but 
neither  there  nor  elsewhere  in  Lethbridge  could  I  find  a 
trace  of  the  perpetrators  of  the  robbery.  It  annoyed 
me.  Here  was  a  complete  general  store,  packed  in  boxes 
filling  many  waggons,  goods  worth  thousands  of  dollars 
and  of  great  bulk,  gone  completely,  vanished  in  the  night, 
and  not  a  clue  even  as  to  the  road  they  went.  They  did 
not  fall  through  the  earth.  They  did  not  vanish  into  air. 
They  must  have  been  hauled  away,  and  that  meant  many 
waggon  loads,  and  yet  there  was  not  a  single  track  nor 
trail  nor  trace  of  their  whereabouts  or  of  the  road  they 
were  taken.  The  more  I  hunted  for  evidence  against 
Rose  the  less  I  seemed  to  find.  He  and  his  wife  lived 
happily,  and  were  very  fond  of  their  adopted  child.  I 
stayed  around  a  day  or  two  and  I  went  away  again  empty 
handed. 

"  At  this  moment  in  the  case,  although  I  was  bare  of 
evidence,  I  could  have  sworn  almost  to  a  certainty  that 
Rose  stole  the  store.  I  thought  and  thought  and  thought. 
At  last  a  plan  presented  itself.  I  wrote  to  Miss  Rye  at 
Belleville  to  take  the  child  away.  She  sent  a  man  at 
once  to  Lethbridge  to  take  the  boy  away  from  the  Roses. 
I  had  the  man  bring  the  boy  to  me.  I  examined  him 
carefully.  I  found  he  was  wearing  new  stockings  and 
had  two  new  pocket-handkerchiefs  that  never  had  been 
used. 

" '  Where  did  you  get  these  ?  '  I  asked  him. 

"  *  My  mamma,'  said  the  little  fellow,  meaning  Mrs. 
Rose.     '  She  cried  when  I  left.' 

"  I  bought  him  new  stockings  and  handkerchiefs  and 
some  candy  and  sent  him  on  his  way  to  Miss  Rye.  I 
kept  the  stockings  and  kerchiefs  given  to  him  by  Mrs. 
Rose.     Several    times    I    had    mentioned    Rose   to    Mr. 


154     MEMOIRS  OF  A  GREAT  DETECTIVE 

Marter,  who  invariably  defended  and  praised  the  team- 
ster. Time  passed.  Mr.  Marter  was  worried  greatly. 
No  trace  of  his  store  had  appeared.  He  came  to  me  the 
day  I  saw  the  boy  on  his  way  to  Miss  Rye. 

" '  Any  clue,  Murray  ? '  he  asked. 

" '  I  do  not  like  Rose,'  said  I. 

" '  Nonsense,'  said  he.  '  Rose  is  all  right.  He  is  a 
good  man,  a  reliable  man.  He  is  steady  and  goes  to 
church.' 

" '  That  cuts  no  figure  with  me,'  said  I.  '  Many  a  job 
has  been  planned  by  a  churchman.' 

" '  You  should  not  be  swayed  in  your  suspicions  by 
dislike  of  a  man's  looks,'  said  he. 

"  For  answer  I  showed  him  the  handkerchiefs  and 
stockings. 

" •  Did  you  buy  such  goods  ?  '  I  asked. 

«  «  Why,  yes,  I  did  ! '  he  exclaimed. 

"  I  went  back  to  Gravenhurst.  I  spent  a  day  in  the 
town  learning  if  Rose  had  any  friends  there.  I  found, 
from  residents,  that  a  barber  named  James  Fuller  was  a 
great  friend  of  Rose.  I  waited  until  next  morning,  so 
that  my  beard  would  be  out,  and  then  went  to  Fuller's 
shop  to  get  shaved.  Fuller  was  out.  A  half-breed 
woman,  his  wife,  part  Indian  and  part  white,  was  keeping 
shop.  She  sat  in  a  back  room  with  the  door  half  open, 
so  she  could  see  who  entered  the  shop.  She  was  sewing 
lace  on  some  undergarment.  A  bunch  of  lace  was  on 
the  floor  beside  her.  I  walked  right  through  the  shop 
into  the  back  room. 

"  '  Fuller  in  ? '  I  asked. 

"  '  No,  he's  gone  to  Cooksville,'  said  she. 

"  '  That's  pretty  lace  ;  where  did  you  get  it  ?  '  I  asked, 
picking  up  a  piece  of  the  lace  and  admiring  it. 

"  '  I  bought  it  at  Coburn's  store,'  said  she,  with  a  furtive 
glance  at  me. 

"  '  How  much  did  you  pay  for  it  ? '  I  asked. 

"  '  I  forget,'  said  she. 

"  '  I  wonder  if  they  have  any  more  of  it,'  I  said.  '  How 
long  ago  did  you  get  it  ? ' 

"  '  I  don't  remember,'  said  she. 


THE  DISAPPEARING  STORES  155 

" '  May  I  have  this  piece  as  a  sample  ? '  said  I,  pocket- 
ing the  piece  I  had  picked  up.  '  I  want  to  get  some 
like  it.' 

"  She  objected.  I  walked  out  of  the  shop.  This  was 
on  Saturday,  July  13th,  1878.  I  went  to  Coburn's  store. 
They  said  they  had  sold  no  lace  to  Fuller's  woman,  and 
when  I  showed  them  the  piece  they  said  they  never  had 
carried  such  lace. 

"  I  went  before  a  magistrate  and  laid  an  information 
against  Rose  and  Fuller.  Fuller  had  gone  to  Cooksville. 
I  went  out  to  Lethbridge  and  met  Marter,  and  told  him  I 
was  going  to  arrest  Rose.  Marter  identified  the  lace,  and 
went  with  me  to  Rose's  house  amid  the  rocks.  Rose  sat 
in  the  doorway  cleaning  a  breech-loading  carbine. 

"  '  Hello,  Rose,'  said  I.     '  What  are  you  doing  ?  ' 

" '  Cleaning  my  gun,'  said  Rose. 

" '  That's  a  nice-looking  gun,'  said  I.  '  Let  me  see 
it.' 

"  He  handed  me  the  gun.  I  laid  it  aside  and  arrested 
him.  He  made  no  resistance  and  I  put  the  handcuffs  on 
him.  He  asked  what  he  was  arrested  for.  I  told  him  it 
was  for  robbing  Marter's  stores. 

" '  We'll  see  about  this,'  said  Rose,  with  an  air  of  in- 
jured innocence. 

"  We  started  for  Gravenhurst.  We  walked  part  of  the 
way  to  the  station  in  silence. 

"'Rose,'  said  I,  'the  jig  is  up.  See  these?'  and  I 
drew  the  lace  out  of  my  pocket.  '  The  squaw  is  coming 
out  in  good  style.' 

"  '  What  squaw  ? '  asked  Rose  surlily. 

" «  Mrs.  Fuller,'  said  I. 

"  Rose  was  mum.  We  walked  on  in  silence  for  half  a 
mile. 

" '  Rose,'  said  I,  '  I  don't  think  it  is  fair  for  Fuller  to 
throw  the  responsibility  for  this  job  on  you.  I  believe 
he  knows  more  about  it  than  that  you  gave  him  this  lace 
as  a  present.' 

"  Rose  said  nothing  until  we  got  out  to  the  railroad 
track,  a  mile  from  his  house.     Then  he  broke  silence. 
Fuller  has   not  treated  me  fairly/  said  Rose.     '  He 


<«  < 


i56     MEMOIRS  OF  A  GREAT  DETECTIVE 

lied  about  the  lace.  Come  on.  I'll  show  you  where  the 
stuff  is.' 

"  We  went  back  a  mile  to  his  house.  A  rod  or  two 
from  the  back  of  his  house  was  a  potato  patch  between 
two  rocks,  about  twenty  feet  apart. 

"  '  There  it  is,'  said  Rose. 

"  I  stared  at  the  potato  patch  where  the  potatoes  were 
growing  and  the  ground  was  unbroken.  I  thought  he 
was  joking,  like  old  Knapp  in  Erie  about  the  buried  gold. 
I  sternly  told  him  to  dig  it  up  if  it  was  there.  I  loosened 
the  handcuffs.  Rose  dug  down  into  the  potato  patch 
and  struck  boards.  He  pulled  up  one  or  two  of  these 
boards  and  there,  beneath  the  potato  patch  in  a  big  hole 
or  bowl  in  the  earth,  was  the  stolen  store.  Mr.  Marter 
went  for  his  men  and  teams  while  Rose  cleared  the 
potato  patch  away.  It  was  the  cleverest  hiding-place  I 
had  ever  seen.  He  had  laid  some  of  Marter's  lumber 
across  the  opening  or  mouth  of  the  big  hole  and  had 
dumped  dirt  on  to  the  boards  and  had  planted  potatoes 
in  this  earth,  making  a  garden  or  potato  patch  as  the 
covering  for  the  goods.  In  the  two  months  and  more 
that  had  passed  the  potatoes  had  flourished. 

"  In  addition  to  finding  the  stolen  general  store,  we 
found  the  stolen  harness  shop  with  dozens  of  sets  of 
harness,  collars,  saddles,  etc.  It  took  Marter's  men  half 
the  night,  to  haul  the  stuff  back  to  the  store.  Rose 
threw  the  blame  on  Fuller,  saying  Fuller  planned  it  while 
Rose  simply  did  the  hauling  and  helped  to  hide  the 
goods.  They  had  begun  on  a  Saturday  night,  and  spent 
Saturday  and  Sunday  nights  stealing  and  hauling  and 
hiding  the  boxes  of  goods.     I  locked  Rose  up. 

"  Fuller  was  in  Cooksville,  eighty  miles  away.  I  ar- 
ranged to  block  any  telegram  that  might  be  sent  to  him 
and  that  night  I  drove  over  fifty  miles  to  Barrie.  There 
my  horse  gave  out,  for  it  was  a  choking  hot  night  in 
July.  I  hired  another  team  and  arrived  in  Cooksville 
about  eight  o'clock  in  the  morning.  I  tied  the  team  in 
the  hotel  shed  and  turned  to  walk  down  the  street.  I 
met  a  fellow  on  the  street  by  the  hotel. 

"  '  Can  you  direct  me  to  a  barber's  shop  ?  '  I  asked. 


MARY  ANN  WEATHERUP,  COQUETTE     157 

"'I  am  going  there,'  said  he.  '  I  am  a  barber  my- 
self.' 

"  '  Is  that  so  ?  '  said  I. 

"  '  Yes,'  said  he.     '  But  not  here.' 

" '  Where  are  you  from  ?  '  I  asked. 

"  '  Gravenhurst,'  said  he. 

" '  Oh  yes,'  said  I.     '  I  think  you  shaved  me  there.' 

" '  Yes,  I  probably  did,'  said  he.     '  My  name's  Fuller.' 

"  '  Oh  yes,  Fuller,'  said  I.  '  Well,  you'll  never  shave 
me  again,'  and  I  arrested  him. 

"  He  took  it  very  hard.  He  protested  his  innocence. 
I  showed  him  the  stockings  and  the  handkerchiefs,  but 
not  the  lace. 

" '  Fuller,'  said  I, '  I  don't  believe  you  gave  these  to 
George  Rose  as  a  present  for  his  adopted  boy.  I  believe 
Rose  knows  something  about  them  himself.' 

"  Thereupon  Fuller,  wrathful  at  Rose,  told  the  whole 
story,  cursing  Rose  while  he  told  it.  He  said  Rose 
planned  the  job  and  got  him  into  it,  and  that  he  could 
not  have  planned  it,  for  he  did  not  know  the  country  or 
the  store  as  did  Rose.  After  breakfast  I  drove  with 
Fuller  to  Barrie  and  there  took  the  train  to  Gravenhurst, 
arriving  at  one  o'clock  on  Monday  afternoon.  Both 
Rose  and  Fuller  demanded  a  speedy  trial.  Both  pleaded 
guilty  on  Wednesday,  July  17th,  1878,  and  were  sen- 
tenced to  five  years  each  in  Kingston  Penitentiary. 
Fuller  was  the  tool.     Rose  was  a  bloomer,  well  named." 


XXVIII 

MARY  ANN  WEATHERUP,  COQUETTE 

Mary  Ann  Weatherup  was  a  country  coquette.  She 
lived  in  the  township  of  Hope,  in  the  county  of  Dur- 
ham. She  was  a  buxom,  blooming  girl,  with  red  cheeks 
and  fluffy  hair  and  big  eyes.  Many  a  lad  in  the  town- 
ship of  Hope  spent  long  hours  in  the  township  of  De- 
spair, all  on  account  of   Mary  Ann  Weatherup.     She 


158     MEMOIRS  OF  A  GREAT  DETECTIVE 

would  pick  out  a  young  fellow,  spoon  with  him  on  moon- 
light nights,  drive  with  him  on  Sunday  afternoon,  and 
when  Monday  came,  he  was  left  to  sit  on  the  fence  and 
crack  his  knuckles,  while  Mary  Ann  Weatherup  went 
gaily  off  with  another  swain.  The  youth  who  basked  in 
Mary  Ann's  smile  for  a  month  plumed  himself  on  his 
powers  of  attraction,  for  seldom  did  a  lover  outlast  a  fort- 
night in  the  good  graces  of  Mary  Ann  Weatherup. 
Squeaky  shoes  or  pomaded  hair  or  choker  collar  or  city 
perfume  never  dazzled  Mary  Ann  Weatherup.  She 
loved  variety,  and  men  came  and  went  with  unbroken 
regularity,  regardless  of  the  artificial  charms  with  which 
they  were  bedecked. 

Mary  Ann  Weatherup's  family  lived  on  a  little  rented 
farm  in  a  house  scarcely  large  enough  for  the  father  and 
mother  and  three  sisters,  of  whom  Mary  Ann  was  the 
oldest.  They  were  poor  in  worldly  goods,  but  Mary  Ann 
was  rich  in  physical  beauty.  She  stayed  at  home  until 
opportunities  came  for  her  to  work  out,  and  then  she  was 
much  away,  working  at  the  house  of  some  big  farmer. 
Her  admirers  ever  kept  her  whereabouts  in  mind,  and  it 
is  related  that  there  were  evenings  on  the  farm  where 
Mary  Ann  Weatherup  was  employed  when  eleven  young 
men  sat  moodily  on  different  sections  of  the  same  rail 
fence  waiting  for  Mary  Ann  to  stroll  forth  in  the  twilight. 
It  is  related  also  that  Mary  Ann  Weatherup  would 
saunter  forth  and  gracefully  trip  along  the  path,  glancing 
at  each  figure  on  the  fence  until  she  had  passed  them  all. 
Then,  to  make  sure  there  were  no  others,  she  would  call 
aloud  their  names  and  at  the  end  would  shout : 
"  Are  there  any  more,  that  I  have  missed?  " 
When  no  answer  came,  Mary  Ann  would  trip  blithe- 
somely  back  along  the  path,  halt  by  the  favoured  one  of 
the  evening  and  say :  "  Come,  Donald,"  or  "  Tis  you  to- 
night, Thomas,"  or  "  You  look  fine  gay  this  eve,  Willie," 
or  "  Wast  waiting  for  me,  David  ?  "  She  would  give  no 
heed  to  the  others  apart  from  the  one  she  chose.  The 
lucky  one  would  leap  down  from  the  fence  and  he  and 
Mary  Ann  Weatherup  would  go  swinging  away,  hand  in 
hand,   in   the   evening   time.     The   others    disappeared, 


MARY  ANN  WEATHERUP,  COQUETTE     159 

some  abruptly,  some  lingeringly,  to  reappear  the  next 
night  and  perchance  be  chosen.  Seldom,  in  such 
carnivals  of  choosing,  was  the  same  adorer  selected  on 
two  successive  evenings.  Sometimes,  a  week  or  a  fort- 
night, or  even  three  weeks,  passed  before  David,  on  the 
third  section  of  the  fence,  was  called,  while  Donald  or 
Willie  alternated  for  a  week.  Certain  sections  of  the 
fence  came  to  be  regarded  as  lucky  or  unlucky,  and 
significance  attached  also  to  the  attitude  of  the  sitter,  as 
if  crossed  limbs  or  interlaced  fingers  could  cast  a  magic 
spell  upon  the  comely  Mary  Ann  Weatherup. 

Once  or  twice  Mary  Ann  Weatherup  hastened  home 
and  remained  there  in  seclusion  for  a  time.  Later  there 
were  grandchildren  but  no  son-in-law  at  the  Weatherup 
family  home.  On  the  first  occasion  the  Mother  Weath- 
erup grieved  and  reproached  Mary  Ann  and  admon- 
ished her  not  to  let  it  happen  again.  On  the  second 
occasion  she  upbraided  Mary  Ann,  and  said  she  was  im- 
posing on  the  good  nature  of  her  parents  and  overtaxing 
the  capacity  of  their  home.  Mary  Ann  went  away  again 
and  all  was  serene  once  more. 

"  Some  Frenchmen  were  cutting  cordwood  in  the 
township  of  Hope,  not  far  from  the  farm  of  the  parents 
of  Mary  Ann  Weatherup,  in  November,  1879,"  says 
Murray.  "  Their  dog  was  nosing  in  the  brush  and  they 
saw  him  running  along  with  something  in  his  mouth. 
They  followed  the  dog,  thinking  he  had  a  woodchuck, 
and,  as  all  French  woodsmen  at  that  time  believed,  wood- 
chuck  was  a  splendid  cure  for  rheumatism.  They  hailed 
the  dog  and  he  dropped  his  burden.  Instead  of  a  wood- 
chuck  they  found  the  body  of  a  young  child,  roasted, 
partly  devoured  and  frozen.  They  reported  it  to  the 
authorities  and  I  was  notified.  I  went  to  the  township 
of  Hope. 

"  The  fame  of  Mary  Ann  Weatherup  was  not  abroad 
in  that  immediate  part  of  the  land  so  much  as  might  have 
been  supposed.  I  began  a  systematic  search  for  the 
mother  of  the  child.  In  due  time  I  came  upon  Mary 
Ann  Weatherup  and  arrested  her.  She  denied  the 
motherhood  of  any  child  within  a  year  or  more.     When 


160     MEMOIRS  OF  A  GREAT  DETECTIVE 

she  was  locked  up  her  father  and  mother  became  fright- 
ened and  disappeared.  They  had  made  sworn  statements 
under  examination  before  they  ran  away.  I  had  Mary 
Ann  kept  in  gaol  and  went  to  see  her  there.  Finally  she 
told  me  the  story. 

"  '  Maw  was  most  unjust,'  said  Mary  Ann.  «  When  I 
had  my  first  child  she  used  harsh  words  to  me,  and  when 
I  had  my  second  child  she  accused  me  of  imposing  on  her 
and  paw,  who  had  both  hands  full,  said  maw,  with  a 
family  of  their  own.  I  went  away  and  at  length  I  went 
home  again.  "  What  again  ?  "  said  maw,  as  she  looked 
at  me,  and  she  was  most  angry  and  charged  me  with  try- 
ing to  crowd  her  out  of  her  own  house.  She  called  in 
paw,  who  swore  I  must  get  out.  I  sat  down  and  folded 
my  hands,  and  said  :  "  Here  I  am  and  here  I  stay."  They 
raged  and  stormed  until  I  asked  them  what  they  thought 
I  had  them  as  my  paw  and  maw  for.  They  had  not 
thought  of  this,  for  it  silenced  paw.  He  could  see  he 
owed  me  a  duty.  But  maw  she  vowed  she  had  done 
more  than  her  duty  by  me  when  she  let  me  grow  into 
long  dresses  and  put  my  hair  up.  Maw  took  after  queer 
kind  of  people.  She  was  not  like  paw.  Paw  could  be 
subdued.  I  stayed  despite  maw.  She  kept  vowing  she 
would  have  a  Judgment  Day  on  earth  and  do  some  reck- 
oning. On  the  day  the  boy  was  born  maw  stirred  up  a 
big  fire  in  the  stove.  She  almost  melted  us,  and  paw  he 
went  out  to  cool  himself.  The  stove  got  red  hot.  Maw 
she  came  and  grabbed  the  baby  from  me  and  laid  him  on 
the  stove  and  roasted  him,  and  then  took  him  out  and 
threw  him  in  the  woods.  She  said  that  would  be  a  lesson 
to  me  not  to  try  to  overcrowd  the  house.' 

"  Mary  Ann  did  not  know  where  her  parents  had  gone, 
when  they  ran  away.  At  least  she  vowed  she  did  not. 
One  day  a  letter  came  addressed  to  her  and  postmarked 
away  up  in  the  Huron  Peninsula.  I  got  it  and  tried  to 
decipher  it,  but  it  was  beyond  me  and  beyond  any  one 
else  who  tried  to  read  it.  Mary  Ann  said  it  was  from 
her  maw  and  had  been  written  by  her  paw,  and  was  in- 
tended to  be  an  epistle  of  abuse,  as  the  only  other  kind 
of  letter  her  paw  could  write  was  one  of  praise,  and  his 


CAPTURE  OF  LOCHINVAR  SPROULE     161 

commendatory  notes  were  less  full  of  blots  and  splashes 
than  his  condemnatory  communications. 

"  I  went  up  to  the  wilds  of  Huron  Peninsula  and  found 
Mary  Ann's  parents  living  in  a  remote,  out-of-the-way 
place.  It  was  easy  to  locate  them  approximately  by  the 
postmark  on  the  letter,  and  then  drive  through  the 
country  until  I  found  some  one  who  knew  of  such  a 
family.  I  brought  them  back  and  had  them  indicted  for 
perjury.  The  mother  was  sent  to  gaol.  They  were 
ignorant  people  and  very  poor  and  ill-tutored.  Mary 
Ann  was  kept  in  the  common  gaol  for  a  year  or  so  and 
then  she  was  released.  She  went  back  to  working  out 
with  farmers. 

"  Mary  Ann  never  quite  got  over  her  coquettish  ways. 
But  her  sojourn  in  gaol  made  her  more  thoughtful  and 
her  folks  never  thereafter  had  cause  to  complain  of  Mary 
Ann  Weatherup  trying  to  crowd  them  out  of  their  own 
house." 


XXIX 

THE  CAPTURE  OF  LOCHINVAR  SPROULE 

The  paw  and  maw  of  Mary  Ann  Weatherup  were  still 
in  hiding  in  the  wilds  of  the  Huron  Peninsula  when  an 
elopement  occurred  in  the  county  of  Elgin.  W.  W. 
Sproule  was  the  hero  and  a  barber's  wife  from  Aylmer 
was  the  heroine.  Sproule  was  a  spruce,  sleek,  dapper 
lover,  and  about  forty  years  old,  whose  old  home  was  in 
the  maritime  provinces,  where  his  family  was  so  influen- 
tial that  it  was  able  to  throw  out  a  helping  hand  to  its 
romantic  offspring  in  the  county  of  Elgin  and  have  him 
appointed  bailiff  by  the  county  judge  without  even  the 
formality  of  giving  security.  Sproule's  love  affairs  proved 
costly,  and  when  he  skipped  by  the  light  of  the  moon 
with  the  barber's  wife,  the  judge  found  a  double  reason 
for  desiring  him  to  return. 

"  Sproule   defaulted   as    bailiff,"  says  Murray.     "  The 


1 62     MEMOIRS  OF  A  GREAT  DETECTIVE 

barber  of  Aylmer  was  wroth  and  he  missed  his  wife,  for 
she  was  reputed  to  be  a  good  housekeeper.  The  case 
came  to  me,  and  Sproule  was  wanted,  both  as  an  eloping 
defaulter  and  a  defaulting  eloper.  I  started  for  the  mari- 
time provinces,  for  it  was  dollars  to  doughnuts  that  the 
festive  Lothario  was  back  among  his  old-time  friends. 
Sure  enough  he  was  at  his  old  home  in  Hampton,  about 
twenty  miles  from  St.  John's,  after  an  absence  of  twenty- 
five  years.  I  made  a  few  preliminary  inquiries  and 
learned  that  his  brother  was  the  sheriff  of  the  county, 
that  another  brother  was  deputy-sheriff,  that  another 
brother  was  a  lawyer,  that  another  brother  was  clerk  of 
the  court,  that  a  nephew  was  a  conductor  on  the  road, 
that  another  nephew  was  a  brakeman,  and,  truth  to  tell, 
almost  every  fifth  man  in  that  part  of  the  country  was  a 
Sproule.  I  realised  at  the  outset  that  strategy  alone 
would  enable  me  to  land  my  man. 

"  I  called  on  the  old  chief  of  police  in  the  city  of  St. 
John's  and  told  him  I  would  like  to  have  an  officer.  I 
mentioned  no  names.  I  simply  said  I  wanted  to  arrest  a 
Canadian  near  Hampton.  The  people  in  the  maritime 
provinces  do  not  call  themselves  Canadians,  but  they  call 
Canada  the  remainder  of  the  Dominion.  The  chief  in- 
formed me  he  had  an  officer  who  had  come  from  that 
part  of  the  country  and  would  send  him  to  me  the  next 
day.  The  next  morning  this  detective  called.  Weath- 
er head  was  his  name.  It  was  March  1st,  1880.  I  told 
him,  as  we  were  about  to  start  that  my  man  was  in 
Hampton.  Weatherhead  said  all  right  and  asked  his 
name.  I  foolishly  told  Weatherhead  Sproule's  name. 
The  detective  immediately  said  he  had  to  go  to  the  office 
a  minute.  He  went,  too.  I  afterwards  learned  that  the 
chief  of  police  and  one  of  Sproule's  brothers  were  per- 
sonal friends,  but  I  did  not  know  it  then.  Weatherhead 
returned  and  we  boarded  a  local  train,  mixed  passenger 
and  freight,  and  went  to  Hampton.  At  that  time  I  had 
to  get  a  warrant  from  one  province  indorsed  in  another, 
but  since  then  all  that  has  been  changed.  Weatherhead 
told  me  the  only  magistrate  there  was  Mr.  Barnes,  regis- 
trar of  the  county.     We  hunted   up  Barnes.     One   of 


CAPTURE  OF  LOCHINVAR  SPROULE     163 

Sproule's  brothers  was  his  clerk.  Weatherhead  said 
again  that  Barnes  was  the  sole  magistrate  within  a  radius 
of  miles,  and  I  reluctantly  had  to  accept  his  word. 
Barnes  was  at  the  court-house.  He  dilly-dallied  and 
wasted  time  until  I  took  a  copy  of  the  statutes  and  said  : 

" '  There's  the  law,  sir,  and  there's  the  warrant  issued 
by  the  county  judge,  sign  it  or  not ! ' 

"  He  signed  it  after  further  delay.  It  was  three  miles 
from  the  court-house  to  the  town  proper.  Hampton  was 
a  little  gut  of  a  town,  stretched  along  one  street.  Weath- 
erhead said  we  could  not  get  a  rig  to  drive,  and  it  was 
too  far  to  walk,  under  the  circumstances.  Up  to  this 
time  I  had  accepted  Weatherhead  in  good  faith.  While 
I  had  my  suspicions  I  was  loth  to  believe  that  a  fellow 
detective  would  betray  me  or  sell  me  out.  Never  before 
had  such  a  thing  happened  to  me,  and  I  am  thankful  to 
say  that  few  times,  in  all  the  years  of  my  experience, 
have  I  known  one  detective  to  play  another  false.  I 
have  found  the  men  of  the  police  business  of  the  world 
honourable,  fair  and  square  in  their  dealings  one  with  an- 
other, and  the  cases  of  sell-out  have  been  the  exceptions 
with  me.     But  I  was  weary  of  Weatherhead. 

"  '  I  will  go  myself,'  said  I  to  him.  •  I  see  through  this 
pretty  well.' 

"  «  Hold  on,'  said  Weatherhead. 

"  *  No,  sir,  I  don't  hold  on,'  said  I.  'I  go  myself. 
Good-day  to  you,  sir.' 

"  I  left  him  in  the  road,  this  Detective  Weatherhead 
of  St.  John's.  He  followed  me.  I  walked  on  to  Hamp- 
ton, and  on  the  way  I  met  a  boy  and  gave  him  a  quarter 
to  show  me  where  the  returned  Sproule  was  living  in  the 
little  town.  The  boy  piloted  me  to  a  double  house  and 
showed  me  the  door  and  left  me.  I  rapped.  No  one 
answered.  I  rapped  at  the  next  door  and  a  lady  an- 
swered my  knock  and  said  that  Mr.  and  Mrs.  Sproule  left 
in  a  great  hurry  a  few  minutes  before  I  arrived.  They 
drove  away  with  their  trunks  and  a  fast  team,  she  said. 
I  went  back  to  the  Sproule  house  and  got  in  through  a 
back  door.  I  found  the  dishes  on  the  table,  the  stove  hot 
and  other  signs  that  the  people  had  gone  in  a  hurry.     I 


1 64     MEMOIRS  OF  A  GREAT  DETECTIVE 

had  missed  them  by  a  mere  few  moments.  I  was  satis- 
fied then  that  I  was  sold.  I  was  mad  as  a  hornet,  but  I 
put  a  fair  face  on  it  and  smiled. 

" '  I'm  glad  they're  gone,'  said  I.  '  I  was  not  anxious 
to  take  them  back,  for  it  was  not  so  serious  a  crime,  after 
all.  I  had  to  go  to  Quebec  and  was  ordered  to  stop  here 
on  the  way.' 

"  I  went  back  to  my  hotel  at  St.  John's.  The  chief  of 
police  called  to  take  me  for  a  drive  and  to  meet  the  men 
of  the  town.  I  declined.  I  saw  the  sheriff  of  St.  John's, 
whom  I  had  met  before,  and  I  told  him  of  the  Sproule 
matter  in  Hampton.  I  told  all  of  them  that  I  was  going 
away,  and  desired  them  not  to  bother  about  Sproule. 
Outwardly  I  was  smiling,  but  inwardly  I  was  vexed  and 
determined  to  take  Sproule,  of  Hampton,  back  to  the 
county  of  Elgin,  no  matter  what  games  were  played  to 
block  me. 

"  In  St.  John's,  commercial  travellers  have  to  pay  a 
licence  to  sell  goods.  Sometimes  they  leave  their  goods 
outside  the  city  and  take  customers  out  to  look  at  them. 
I  told  the  clerk  of  the  hotel  to  get  me  a  good,  lusty  man, 
as  I  wanted  to  go  to  Sussex,  twenty-five  miles  out,  where 
I  had  some  samples  to  bring  in.  The  clerk  got  me  a  big 
Irish  porter,  who  was  not  afraid  of  anything. 

" '  Bring  two  good  lanterns  and  a  stout  stick,'  said  1  to 
the  porter.     '  The  scoundrels  may  steal  my  samples.' 

"  The  spirit  of  adventure  stirred  the  porter  and  he  was 
eager  for  an  encounter.  We  took  the  train  for  Hampton 
the  next  evening.  The  conductor  smiled  at  me.  The 
porter  and  I  walked  three  miles  to  Sproule's  in  the  dark- 
ness.    I  stationed  him  at  the  front  door. 

" '  Grab  anybody  that  comes  out,'  said  I. 

"  I  entered  by  the  back  door.  I  prowled  through  the 
entire  house.  The  Sproules  were  not  there.  I  left  the 
house  by  the  front  door  and  as  I  stepped  outside  I  was 
seized  and  whirled  violently  out  into  the  road  with  a 
human  hyena  on  top  of  me,  yelling : 

"  '  I've  got  ye  !     I've  got  ye  ! ' 

"  It  was  my  Irish  porter  obeying  orders  to  seize  any 
one  coming  out  of  the  front  door.     He  recognised  me  in 


CAPTURE  OF  LOCHINVAR  SPROULE     165 

a  moment  and  promptly  dusted  me  off  and  we  went  back 
to  St.  John's,  empty-handed  again. 

"  The  next  evening  I  boarded  a  train  on  which  Sproules 
were  part  of  the  crew  and  doubled  back  to  Moncton,  one 
hundred  and  twenty  miles.  The  Sproule  brakeman  fol- 
lowed me  into  the  sleeper  and  made  sure  of  my  depar- 
ture. I  crept  into  my  berth  with  my  clothes  on  and  drew 
the  curtains.  At  Moncton  I  met  the  Halifax  train  going 
north.  I  slipped  out  of  the  sleeper,  boarded  the  Halifax 
train  and  rode  about  fifty  miles  to  Weldford,  while  the 
Sproule  brakeman  thought  I  was  sleeping  blissfully  in  my 
berth  on  the  other  train  going  to  Quebec.  At  Weldford 
I  stayed  all  night  in  a  little  hotel  and  then  drove  by  stage, 
twenty-five  miles  away  from  the  railroad,  to  Kingston, 
where  I  stayed  a  day  and  then  drove  to  Richibucto  and 
stayed  two  days,  and  then  I  drove  back  to  Weldford  and 
thence  by  rail  to  Moncton,  where  I  arrived  on  a  storm- 
ing, blowing  night  in  March.  The  clerk  at  the  American 
House,  where  I  stopped,  said  they  were  out  of  liquor  and 
cigars.  I  told  him  to  go  out  and  get  a  supply  to  last  a 
few  days.  He  went  out  and  returned  with  two  bottles  of 
beer,  two  cigars,  and  a  half-pint  of  whiskey.  It  was  too 
serious  then  to  be  as  ludicrous  as  it  seems  to  me 
now. 

"  A  big  storekeeper  named  McSweeny  was  president 
of  the  Moncton  Council.  I  called  at  the  store  and  met  a 
Mr.  McSweeny  and  told  him  the  whole  story  from  start 
to  finish.  He  heard  me  through  and  said  his  brother  was 
the  Council  president  and  that  there  was  a  bold,  ambi- 
tious young  fellow  who  wanted  to  become  chief  constable, 
and  whose  father  was  sheriff  of  the  county  and  who 
knew  the  Sproules,  of  Hampton. 

" '  My  brother  has  the  appointment  of  the  chief 
constable,  and  I  think  this  man  can  help  you,'  said 
McSweeny. 

"  When  President  McSweeny  came  in  he  heard  my 
story,  and  said :  '  Murray,  we'll  see  you  do  not  go  back 
without  your  man.'  He  sent  for  the  candidate  for  chief 
constable.  Vail  was  his  name.  McSweeny  promised 
the  appointment  to  him  if  he  helped  me  get  Sproule.     I 


1 66     MEMOIRS  OF  A  GREAT  DETECTIVE 

knew  it  was  useless  for  me  to  try  to  run  the  gauntlet  of 
Sproules,  so  I  gave  Vail  some  money  and  he  went  to 
Hampton  while  I  waited  in  Moncton.  He  stayed  with 
Sheriff  Sproule  in  Hampton,  and  in  a  few  days  returned 
to  Moncton  empty-handed.  His  story  was  that  my 
Sproule  was  still  away,  but  would  be  home  the  next  week. 
I  gave  no  sign  of  incredulity  and  four  days  later  I  sent 
Vail  to  Hampton  again,  with  the  warrant  endorsed  and 
regular.     The  next  day  I  received  a  telegram  reading : 

"  '  Got  him  ! ' 

"  I  took  the  next  train  to  Hampton.  Sure  enough, 
Sproule  had  returned  and  Vail  had  nabbed  him.  The 
Sheriff  Sproule  was  enraged  at  his  guest,  Vail,  who 
grinned  and  said  he  would  be  a  chief  constable  soon.  I 
started  back  with  Sproule.  The  conductor  of  the  train 
was  the  Conductor  Sproule  who  had  given  me  the  laugh. 
I  had  the  pleasure,  this  time,  of  a  broad  smile  at  him. 
I  left  the  wife  of  the  barber  of  Aylmer,  in  Hampton.  I 
handcuffed  Sproule.  In  travelling  with  a  handcuffed 
prisoner  you  have  to  sleep  side  by  side  with  him  in  the 
berth.  Every  time  Sproule  thought  I  was  asleep  in  the 
berth  he  would  yank  me  by  jerking  the  arm  by  which  he 
was  handcuffed  to  me.  I  had  to  laugh.  I  really  enjoyed 
his  wrath.  I  took  him  back  to  St.  Thomas  and  turned 
him  over  to  the  authorities  in  the  county  of  Elgin. 

"  I  never  forgot  the  sell-out  that  was  worked  on  me. 
Treachery  is  one  of  the  rancid,  nasty  wrongs  of  life. 
Ingratitude  is  another.  If  in  eternity  there  are  figures 
before  doorways  to  denote  the  character  of  the  interiors, 
the  Temple  of  Infamy  will  have  its  entrance  flanked  by 
a  traitor  and  an  ingrate.  It  is  a  source  of  pleasure  to  me 
that  in  matching  my  experience  in  my  business  with  the 
experiences  of  other  men  in  other  businesses,  I  find  that 
I  have  come  into  contact  with  far  less  treachery  among 
my  colleagues  than  they  have  encountered.  It  speaks 
well  for  the  honour  of  men  in  the  police  business  in  so 
far  as  their  dealings  with  one  another  are  concerned. 
The  Sproule  case  contained  my  first  difficulty  with  an 
officer.  I  got  my  man  just  the  same,  and  I  often  thought 
how  much  alike  were  the  names  of  Mary  Ann  Weatherup, 


MILLION  DOLLAR  COUNTERFEITING     167 

of  Durham,  and   my  friend,  Detective  Wetherhead,  of 
St.  John's,  whom  I  left  standing  in  the  Hampton  road." 


XXX 

THE  MILLION  DOLLAR  COUNTERFEITING 

The  first  five  years  of  Murray's  service  with  the  Gov- 
ernment in  Canada  were  drawing  to  a  close  in  1880. 
They  had  been  five  eventful  years.  He  had  done  his 
difficult  work  faithfully  and  well.  He  added  to  the  name 
and  fame,  not  only  of  the  Department  of  Justice,  but  of 
himself.  He  had  handled  successfully  scores  of  cases  of 
varying  degrees  of  importance,  from  atrocious  murders 
to  petty  and  persistent  thievings.  The  Government  in 
no  instance  had  called  upon  him  in  vain.  But  clever  as 
he  was,  able  and  resourceful  as  he  had  proved  himself  to 
be,  a  still  severer  test  of  his  qualities  was  about  to  come, 
and  a  task  was  to  rise  before  him  beside  which  all  former 
cases  seemed  simple  and  insignificant.  It  was  the  Mil- 
lion Dollar  Counterfeiting. 

This  crime  is  known  as  one  of  the  boldest  and  greatest 
of  its  kind  ever  undertaken.  It  was  a  crime  of  genius. 
The  man  who  solved  its  mystery  and  ran  its  perpetrators 
to  earth,  was  a  detective  of  genuine  worth.  His  trophy 
of  the  chase  rests  on  a  stand  in  his  library,  one  of  the 
largest  hauls  of  counterfeit  plates  ever  made  on  the 
American  continent,  plates  that  are  worth  over  $40,000, 
plates  that  set  in  circulation  bogus  money  totalling  over 
$1,000,000  so  true  to  the  genuine  currency  that  to  this 
day  some  of  it  is  in  circulation,  and  banks  could  not  tell 
it  was  counterfeit. 

"  In  the  months  of  March,  April,  and  May  in  1880," 
says  Murray,  "  Canada  was  flooded  with  the  most  danger- 
ous counterfeit  bills  ever  put  in  circulation.  Banks  took 
the  bogus  bank-notes  over  their  own  counters,  and  could 
not  tell  they  were  not  genuine.  Officials  whose  signa- 
tures were  forged  could  not  tell  the  forged  signature  from 


1 68     MEMOIRS  OF  A  GREAT  DETECTIVE 

the  genuine.  Good  and  bad  bills  were  laid  side  by  side, 
and  experts  had  to  resort  to  scientific  methods  to  tell 
which  were  good  and  which  were  bad.  The  bills  ap- 
peared all  over  Canada.  It  is  known  now  that  over 
$1,000,000  of  them  were  sent  out.  In  the  far  northwest 
$200,000  of  this  money  was  paid  for  furs  that  were 
shipped  to  England,  Montreal,  and  New  York  from  this 
remote  country  where  there  were  no  banks,  and  to  the 
present  time  some  of  it  is  in  circulation  there,  and  is 
good  money.  The  banks,  as  I  have  said,  took  them  over 
their  own  counters  to  my  positive  knowledge. 

"  One  of  the  counterfeits  was  a  United  States  $5  bill 
of  the  Government  issue  of  1875.  It  was  one  of  the  first 
to  be  discovered.  It  was  detected  in  Washington  by 
accident.  An  expert  in  connection  with  the  Treasury 
Department  happened  to  run  across  one  of  the  new  bills. 
He  remarked  that  it  was  better  work  and  a  prettier  bill 
than  any  he  had  ever  seen.  The  one  fault  was  the  bill 
was  too  perfect.  The  expert  took  it  to  the  Treasury 
Department  to  hunt  up  the  series  of  numbers,  and  he 
found  the  bill  was  a  counterfeit.  Secret  Service  men 
were  detailed  at  once.  They  set  to  work.  Two  or  three 
were  over  here.  This  was  before  there  was  much  talk 
of  our  counterfeits  being  in  circulation.  The  Secret 
Service  men  got  no  trace  of  the  counterfeiters. 

"  Then  came  the  discovery  of  the  Canadian  counter- 
feits. Numbers  on  new  bills  on  this  side  were  compared, 
after  the  United  States  Secret  Service  men  began  to  work 
and  stir  around,  and  the  discovery  was  made  that  whole- 
sale counterfeiting  of  Canada  bills  had  occurred.  The 
banks  were  in  a  stew.  Everybody  was  stirred  up.  Busi- 
ness men  were  worried.  The  Government  instructed  me 
to  get  to  the  bottom  of  it,  and  above  all  to  get  the  plates, 
and  thereby  stop  further  issue  of  the  bills.  I  found  the 
following  Canada  counterfeit  bills  in  circulation : 

"A  $10  bill  on  the  Bank  of,  Commerce. 

"  A  $5  bill  on  the  Bank  of  Commerce,  whose  head 
office  is  Toronto,  with  branches  all  over  Canada. 

"  A  $5  bill  on  the  Bank  of  British  North  America,  of 
Toronto,  with  branches  all  over  the  country. 


MILLION  DOLLAR  COUNTERFEITING     169 

"A  $10  bill  on  the  Ontario  Bank. 

"  A  $4  bill  on  the  Dominion  Bank. 

"  A  $1  bill  Dominion  of  Canada,  Government  issue. 

"  There  is  any  amount  of  this  currency  out  still.  Har- 
rington, the  signer  of  the  Government  issue,  could  not 
detect  the  forgery  of  his  own  signature.  The  counter- 
feiters were  so  bold  and  so  daring  that,  as  I  have  said, 
$200,000  was  paid  for  furs  and  was  accepted,  and  to  this 
day  part  of  it  is  in  circulation  in  the  northwest,  and  is  as 
good  as  gold  for  all  practical  purposes  out  there.  Even 
the  banks  whose  bills  were  counterfeited  accepted  the 
counterfeits  over  their  own  counters.  They  denied  that 
they  ever  paid  any  of  them  out  again.  The  bills  were 
afloat  in  all  sections  of  the  country  and  there  was  a  great 
stir. 

"  It  was  my  old  line  of  work,  although  I  was  a  little 
rusty,  for  I  had  lost  track  of  some  of  the  details  of  the 
whereabouts  of  the  various  people.  I  started  out,  and  I 
knew  at  the  outset  that  I  was  tackling  one  of  the  hardest 
cases  of  my  life.  The  principals,  not  the  small  fry,  alone 
held  the  plates.  I  went  to  New  York,  taking  with  me 
specimens  of  the  Canada  bills  and  of  the  United  States 
bill,  for  the  United  States  bill  also  was  in  suspiciously 
large  circulation  in  Canada.  In  New  York  I  went  at 
once  to  the  cooney  places,  and  looked  for  cooney  men. 
I  found  no  one  who  had  any  information.  From  New 
York  I  went  to  Philadelphia,  and  there  I  made  the  usual 
rounds  of  the  cooney  places,  and  also  called  on  the  offi- 
cers. I  learned  nothing.  The  Secret  Service  men  had 
been  over  the  ground  before  me  without  avail.  From 
Philadelphia  I  went  to  Washington,  and  called  at  the 
Treasury  Department.  John  Sherman,  of  Ohio,  was 
Secretary  of  the  Treasury.  Jim  Brooks,  an  old  English- 
man, was  chief  of  the  Secret  Service  then.  I  talked  with 
the  officers,  and  learned  nothing.  Back  to  New  York  I 
went  empty-handed. 

"  In  the  old  days  in  New  York  I  had  known  some  of 
the  counterfeiters  and  ex-counterfeiters,  and  I  got  track 
of  two  or  three  of  them  in  the  cooney  places  or  resorts 
they  frequent,  and  finally  I  struck  the  trail  of  a  man  who 


170     MEMOIRS  OF  A  GREAT  DETECTIVE 

was  an  expert  in  his  day,  and  who  was  thoroughly  up  in 
counterfeiting  and  the  work  of  counterfeiters.  He  had 
been  a  counterfeiter  himself  in  the  old  days,  and  I  had 
known  him  when  I  was  working  for  the  United  States 
some  years  before.  I  showed  him  the  bills.  Counter- 
feiters often  know  each  other's  work.  In  using  the  word 
counterfeiters  in  this  sense  I  mean  the  engravers,  the 
men  who  make  the  plates.  An  expert  engraver  of  coun- 
terfeit plates  usually  can  tell  within  a  group  of  men,  if 
not  the  very  man,  who  made  the  plate  from  which  a  bill 
was  printed.  They  seem  to  recognise  some  bit  of  char- 
acter, some  intangible  trait  in  the  work  that  enables  them 
to  identify  its  maker,  or  the  group  from  whence  it  came. 

"  My  ex-counterfeiter  in  New  York  looked  the  bills 
over  very  carefully. 

"  '  They  are  beauties,'  he  said.  '  It  looks  very  much 
like  the  work  of  old  John  Hill,  but  I  think  Hill  has  been 
locked  up  since  he  got  the  $  10,000  for  making  those  last 
plates  of  his.     Yet  it  looks  like  Hill's  work.' 

"  I  knew  Hill.  He  was  an  old,  crooked  engraver 
whose  home  was  in  New  York,  and  who  had  done  time 
twice.  He  charged  a  fee  of  $10,000  for  making  the 
plates  for  bogus  bills,  and  would  have  nothing  to  do  with 
shoving  the  queer — that  is,  circulating  the  money.  I 
went  to  Albany,  and  thence  to  Troy  to  see  another  old 
cooney  man  who  had  reformed.     He  looked  at  the  bills. 

"  «  They  look  like  Hill's,'  said  he,  '  but  I  know  Hill  has 
not  been  situated  in  recent  years  so  he  had  time  to  make 
them.' 

"  I  thought  the  plates,  wherever  they  might  be,  were 
the  handiwork  of  Prussian  Mark  Ulrich,  and  that  Pete 
McCarthy  might  have  aided  him,  they  were  so  perfect. 

" '  No,'  said  my  cooney  acquaintance  whom  I  saw  in 
Troy,  '  they  look  like  Hill,  and  next  to  Ed  Johnson,  Hill 
is  the  best  man  in  the  world  to-day.  They  are  not 
Prussian  Mark's.' 

"  I  ran  down  Hill's  whereabouts,  and  satisfied  myself 
that  he  had  nothing  to  do  with  the  Canada  plates  in  this 
work.  It  required  several  years  to  make  the  plates,  for 
a  crooked  engraver  worked  only  at  certain  hours  of  the 


MILLION  DOLLAR  COUNTERFEITING     171 

day,  in  a  certain  light,  and  the  plates  that  made  the  bills 
I  had  were  masterpieces  from  a  master's  hand. 

"  I  decided  to  try  Chicago,  and  see  what  I  could  learn 
there.  I  was  on  my  way  west  from  New  York  to  Chi- 
cago, with  Hill  dropped  from  my  consideration,  when 
my  mind  turned  to  Ed  Johnson.  Where  was  he?  I 
remembered  the  tales  I  had  heard  of  him.  He  was  an 
Englishman  by  birth,  who  was  an  educated  man,  and  had 
married  an  educated  Englishwoman.  He  learned  the 
trade  of  an  engraver,  and  the  young  couple  moved  to 
America,  and  he  was  supposed  to  be  honest,  and  worked 
at  his  trade  until,  when  the  Civil  War  came  on,  some  one 
made  a  fortune  out  of  $100,  $50,  and  $20  counterfeit 
bank-notes,  and  Johnson  had  been  mixed  up  in  it,  and 
later  was  reported  to  have  returned  to  England.  My 
Troy  cooney  man  agreed,  as  a  matter  of  course,  that 
Johnson  was  the  ablest  man  in  the  business,  and  the 
bills  were  beauties  created  by  a  master.  They  were  the 
best  ever  seen,  and  unless  a  greater  than  Johnson  had 
arisen,  it  was  Johnson.  I  determined  to  account  for 
Johnson  as  I  had  accounted  for  Hill.  So  I  went  on  to 
Chicago,  and  there  I  learned  that  the  last  trace  of  John- 
son in  the  business  in  that  section  of  the  country  was  in 
Indianapolis  several  years  before.  I  learned  this  from 
an  old  time  ex-counterfeiter  whom  I  had  known  in  1867, 
and  who  had  settled  in  Chicago.  I  conferred  also  with 
the  United  States  authorities  in  Chicago.  At  every  step 
in  this  case  thus  far,  I  had  occasion  to  be  thankful  for 
my  United  States  Government  experience  at  the  close  of 
the  Civil  War,  and  for  the  acquaintance  I  built  up  at  that 
time  among  officers  and  ex-counterfeiters  and  counter- 
feiters themselves. 

"  My  next  move  was  to  Indianapolis,  where  I  was  well 
acquainted.  I  called  on  United  States  Senator  Mc- 
Donald, and  others.  I  was  on  the  hunt  for  trace  of  Ed 
Johnson.  I  learned  that  a  family  named  Johnson  had 
lived  in  Indianapolis  about  six  years  before  in  elegant 
style  in  a  big  house,  with  horses,  carriages,  coachman, 
footman,  and  quite  a  retinue  of  servants.  They  spent 
money    lavishly,   and    lived    luxuriously.     Then    came 


172     MEMOIRS  OF  A  GREAT  DETECTIVE 

trouble  in  the  form  of  an  accusation  that  they  were  coun- 
terfeiters. The  Johnsons  promptly  retained  McDonald 
&  Butler  as  their  counsel,  and  I  understood  they  paid  the 
attorneys  a  $25,000  fee  for  defending  them.  They 
finally  got  clear,  but  the  trouble  had  affected  their  posi- 
tion in  Indianapolis,  and  they  went  away. 

"  In  the  family  were  Mr.  and  Mrs.  Johnson,  two  beau- 
tiful girls  and  five  boys.  The  daughters  were  Jessie  and 
Annie  Johnson,  both  clever,  accomplished  girls.  The 
boys  were  Tom,  Charlie,  Johnnie,  Elijah,  and  David 
Henry.  I  knew  three  of  them  myself.  I  learned  from 
friends  of  their  counsel  that  when  they  left  Indianapolis 
they  moved  to  Cincinnati.  I  went  on  to  Cincinnati,  and 
found  they  had  lived  in  Sixth  Street  there,  and  had  oc- 
cupied a  big  house  over  in  Covington,  Ky.,  for  a  while. 
They  had  left  there  several  years  before,  and  through 
one  of  their  acquaintances  I  learned  they  had  gone  to 
Hartford,  Ct.  I  went  on  to  Hartford,  and  found  the 
house  there  where  they  had  lived  in  strict  seclusion,  sel- 
dom being  seen  on  the  street.  They  had  moved  from 
Hartford  to  a  big,  old  house  near  Fall  River,  Mass.  I 
located  this  house,  but  they  were  gone,  bag  and  baggage, 
almost  a  year  before,  and  there  I  lost  the  trail.  I  worked 
like  a  beaver  trying  to  get  some  trace  of  them.  But  they 
had  burned  all  bridges  behind  them. 

"  I  finally  went  from  Fall  River  back  to  New  York,  and 
saw  the  man  I  had  seen  there  before. 

"  '  Do  you  know  old  Johnson  ? '  I  asked  him. 

" '  Yes,  but  I  have  not  seen  him  in  years, '  was  the 
reply.  '  He  is  as  clever  as  they  make.  He  used  to  get 
on  drunks,  and  his  family  had  a  desperate  time  watching 
him.' 

"  '  Where  is  he  likely  to  be  now  ?  '  I  asked. 

"  '  They  have  money,  Murray,'  said  he.  '  Old  Mrs. 
Johnson  is  rich.  In  the  first  two  or  three  years  of  the 
war  they  rolled  in  it,  and  the  old  woman  always  is  look- 
ing out  for  a  rainy  day.  I  heard  they  had  left  the  coun- 
try.' 

"  We  talked  the  matter  over  fully.  It  was  in  a  little 
restaurant.     I  remember  well   the   little    cubby-hole  in 


MILLION  DOLLAR  COUNTERFEITING    173 

which  we  sat.  I  told  him  to  bring  his  glass  next  day,  and 
study  the  bills.  He  did  so.  We  had  luncheon  in  my 
room,  and  he  examined  the  bills  minutely.  For  three 
hours  or  so  he  fussed  over  them,  studying  them  under  the 
glass.     At  last  he  looked  up. 

"  «  Well  ? '  said  I.     '  Mark  Ulrich  ? ' 

" '  No,'  said  he.  '  Hill  may  have  done  the  States  $5 
bill,  but  Johnson  did  the  Canada  bills.' 

"  '  Are  you  sure  of  Johnson's  work  ? '  I  asked. 

" '  As  sure  as  I  would  be  of  my  own — in  the  old  days,' 
said  he. 

"  '  And  you  have  no  idea  where  Johnson  is  ?  '  I  asked. 

"  '  Not  the  slightest,  Murray,'  said  he.  '  I  tried  to  get 
a  hint  of  him  last  night,  but  the  best  I  can  learn  is  that 
he  is  out  of  the  country — possibly  in  England,  unless 
there  is  a  job  on  the  Continent.' 

"  I  dug  around  in  New  York,  and  was  baffled.  I  knew 
young  Dave  Johnson,  and  Tom,  who  was  lame,  and 
Johnnie.  But  the  whole  family  had  vanished  when  they 
left  Fall  River.  I  went  to  Buffalo  and  saw  a  retired  man 
there,  but  nobody  knew  where  Johnson  was.  From 
Buffalo  I  went  to  Detroit,  and  saw  a  man  who  used  to  be 
an  expert  bank-note  engraver,  and  who  had  got  square. 
He  had  no  trace  of  the  Johnsons,  but  agreed,  as  had  my 
other  acquaintances,  to  endeavour  to  find  some  track  of 
them.  By  this  time  I  was  becoming  satisfied  that  the 
Johnsons  had  gone  abroad  or  had  moved  to  Canada,  and 
were  in  personal  charge  of  the  distribution  of  the  coun- 
terfeit money.  As  a  rule,  the  engravers  or  plate-makers 
had  little  to  do  with  shoving  or  passing  the  bogus  money. 
I  went  up  to  my  room  in  the  hotel  at  Detroit.  I  intended 
to  take  a  train' an  hour  later,  but  became  so  absorbed  in 
contemplation  of  the  case  that  I  missed  the  train.  I 
thought  it  all  over,  and  it  became  perfectly  clear  to  my 
mind  that  the  Johnsons,  if  they  were  to  be  found  any- 
where on  this  side  of  the  Atlantic,  were  to  be  found  in 
Canada,  and  probably  right  in  or  near  Toronto,  if  they 
had  not  flown  recently  to  other  parts. 

"  Missing  the  train  turned  out  to  be  a  godsend.  I  took 
the  next  train  for  Toronto.     When  I  alighted  in  Toronto 


174     MEMOIRS  OF  A  GREAT  DETECTIVE 

I  crossed  to  a  saloon  to  get  a  welcome-home  nip.  I  saw 
a  figure  at  the  other  end  of  the  bar.  He  turned.  I  stood 
face  to  face  with  Johnnie  Johnson!  If  he  had  dropped 
from  the  clouds  I  could  not  have  been  more  astonished, 
and  if  he  had  been  the  Recording  Angel  come  to  write 
my  title  clear,  I  could  not  have  been  more  delighted. 
Johnnie  was  full.  He  stood  alone  at  one  end  of  the  bar 
drinking. 

" '  I'll  shadow  you,'  said  I  to  myself. 

"  It  was  shortly  after  eleven  o'clock  at  night.  Johnnie 
finished  his  drink,  and  went  out.  I  went  out  by  the  other 
door.  I  was  just  in  time  to  see  Johnnie  jump  into  a  cab 
and  drive  away.  He  was  out  of  sight  and  sound  before 
I  could  get  a  cab.  I  spent  that  night,  and  the  next,  and 
the  next  looking  for  him.  On  the  third  night  I  spied 
him.  He  was  just  slipping  out  of  Mitchell  &  Ryan's 
saloon  on  King  Street,  between  Bay  and  York  Streets. 
He  walked  quickly  down  Bay  Street,  jumped  in  a  cab, 
and  drove  away.  I  had  kept  a  cab  within  hail  ever  since 
I  lost  him  the  first  night,  so  I  jumped  into  my  cab,  and 
away  we  went  after  Johnnie.  He  drove  north  to  Bloor 
Street,  and  at  the  corner  of  Bloor  Street  and  Avenue 
Road,  not  far  from  where  the  Parliament  building  is  now, 
he  got  out  of  the  cab,  paid  the  man  and  walked  away.  I 
got  out  of  my  cab  and  followed  him  on  foot.  He  went 
around  six  blocks  to  Hazelton  Avenue,  turned  into  Hazel- 
ton  Avenue,  and,  taking  out  a  latch-key,  unlocked  the 
door  of  a  comfortable  brick  house  and  went  in. 

" '  There's  where  the  Johnsons  are,'  quoth  I  to  myself, 
as  I  heard  the  door  softly  close. 

"  It  was  a  hard  house  to  shadow,  there  being  no  shel- 
tered place  near  by.  I  made  arrangements  with  the  oc- 
cupants of  an  adjacent  house,  and  kept  the  Johnson  house 
under  surveillance.  For  five  days  after  Johnnie  Johnson 
entered  the  house,  no  one  passed  in  or  out  except  the 
butcher  and  the  baker  and  the  milkman.  I  saw  the  baker 
down  town,  and  asked  who  lived  there. 

"  '  An  old  lady  and  gentleman,  two  nice-looking  girls, 
and  a  couple  of  sons,'  he  said. 

"  I  saw  the  milkman.     He  had  seen  the  girls,  and  had 


MILLION  DOLLAR  COUNTERFEITING    175 

heard  them  play  the  piano  and  sing.  The  butcher  saw 
the  girls  occasionally.  I  had  no  case  on  the  Johnsons 
then,  nothing  beyond  my  certainty  that  they  did  the  job. 
I  kept  watch  of  the  house.  One  night  lights  burned  in 
the  parlour  of  the  house  all  night,  and  the  piano  was 
played  until  an  early  morning  hour.  I  sat  watching  and 
waiting.  Days  and  nights  had  passed,  and  no  one  had 
appeared  at  the  house.  It  was  like  a  house  where  every 
one  had  gone  away.  But  about  seven  o'clock  in  the 
morning,  after  the  night  of  lights  and  music,  the  front 
door  opened  and  old  man  Johnson  himself,  Edwin  John- 
son, the  king  of  counterfeiters,  appeared  on  the  door-step 
and  walked  jauntily  down  the  street.  I  knew  him  the 
moment  I  saw  him,  for  I  had  a  dozen  descriptions  of  him 
and  a  photograph,  all  of  recent  years.  I  had  discarded 
the  photograph,  but  my  descriptions  tallied  to  a  dot.  I 
trailed  him.  He  stopped  in  almost  every  saloon  on  his 
way  down  town,  but  he  paid  for  his  drinks  in  genuine 
money.  He  got  boozy,  and  finally  he  went  to  the  rail- 
road station  and  bought  a  ticket  for  Markham.  I  sat  six 
seats  behind  him  on  the  train.  We  both  got  off  at 
Markham.  He  went  into  a  saloon,  and  bought  a  drink. 
When  he  came  out,  I  went  in.  There  was  a  young  bar- 
tender— a  saucy,  smart  aleck,  but  I  had  him  call  the  pro- 
prietor, and  through  him  I  got  the  $1  bill  that  Johnson 
had  given  in  pay  for  the  drink.  I  paid  silver  for  it,  and 
had  the  proprietor  initial  it.  I  eyed  it  eagerly  when  I  got 
it.     It  was  a  new  Dominion  $1  bill.     I  had  my  man  at  last. 

"  Johnson  went  into  place  after  place,  buying  a  drink 
or  cigar,  and  paying  in  bad  bills.  I  followed  him  from 
place  to  place,  buying  the  bills  as  he  passed  them.  He 
passed  one  of  the  $4  Dominion  Bank  bills  in  a  store, 
where  he  bought  a  necktie.  In  fact,  he  kept  busy  until 
train  time,  when  he  went  back  to  Toronto.  I  went  on 
the  same  train.  When  he  alighted  in  Toronto,  I  stepped 
up  and  tapped  him  on  the  shoulder. 

"  '  How  do  you  do,  Mr.  Johnson  ? '  said  I. 

"  Johnson  was  a  gentleman.  He  was  a  very  polite, 
polished  old  fellow,  grey-haired,  dapper,  and  of  precise 
speech. 


176     MEMOIRS  OF  A  GREAT  DETECTIVE 

"  '  You  have  the  advantage  of  me,  sir/  said  he.  '  I  do 
not  know  you.' 

" '  I've  seen  you  often  on  the  other  side,'  I  said. 

"  '  Oh,'  said  he,  '  who  might  you  be  ? ' 

"  '  I  am  Detective  Murray,'  I  said.  '  We  might  as  well 
understand  each  other.     You  are  my  prisoner.' 

"  '  All  right,  sir,'  said  old  Johnson  very  politely,  and 
not  in  the  least  flustered.     '  What  is  the  charge  ? ' 

"  «  Counterfeiting,'  said  I. 

"  We  walked  along  as  we  talked.  Edwin  Johnson 
looked  like  a  prosperous  banker — as  indeed  he  was,  in 
bad  money.     He  seemingly  gave  no  heed  to  my  answer. 

"  '  Murray,  Murray,'  he  mused.  '  Oh  yes,  I've  heard 
of  you.  This  is  rather  unexpected.  It  takes  me  quite 
by  surprise.     I  never  had  the  pleasure  before,  sir.' 

" '  I  have  met  several  members  of  your  family/  I 
said. 

"  '  Indeed  ? '  he  said.  '  A  very  fine  family,  sir.  Do 
you  not  agree  with  me  ?     A  fine  family.' 

"  We  walked  on  to  the  corner. 

"  '  Well,  good-day,  sir,'  said  Edwin  Johnson.  '  Very 
glad  to  have  met  you.' 

"  '  Just  a  moment,'  said  I.  '  You  are  my  prisoner,  Mr. 
Johnson.  You  are  a  counterfeiter.  I  have  in  my  pocket 
the  bogus  money  you  passed  at  Markham,  and  you  have 
the  equivalent  of  my  good  money  in  your  pocket.' 

"  Instantly  he  ceased  bluffing,  and  his  manner  became 
grave  and  earnest.     He  seemed  to  sober  up. 

"  '  Is  there  no  way  of  arranging  this  ? '  he  said.  '  It 
appears  to  be  a  serious  matter.' 

"  '  We'll  talk  it  over/  said  I,  and  I  called  a  cab  and 
took  him  to  the  gaol. 

"This  was  on  Friday,  June  nth,  1880.  I  held  him 
without  a  commitment,  for  I  wanted  nothing  known  of 
it.     In  the  gaol  he  said  : 

" '  Murray,  I'd  like  another  word  with  you.  Can  we 
not  arrange  this  matter  ?  Give  me  your  terms.  I  have 
money.     I  mean  good  money/  he  added,  with  a  smile. 

"  I  searched  him,  and  found  more  bad  bills  on  him. 
Then  I  told  the  gaoler  to  treat  him  well,  and  left  him 


MILLION  DOLLAR  COUNTERFEITING    177 

cigars  and  the  like,  and  told  him  to  think  the  matter 
over  until  Monday,  when  he  would  be  in  better  condi- 
tion to  discuss  it. 

" «  The  only  thing  you  can  do  with  me,'  I  told  him,  on 
leaving, '  is  to  deliver  up  to  me  the  plates  and  whole 
paraphernalia  of  counterfeiting.' 

"  On  Saturday,  next  day,  he  sent  for  me,  and  I  went  to 
the  gaol.  He  renewed  his  proposition.  He  told  me  to 
name  any  amount.  He  did  it  in  a  very  nice  way,  saying 
that  his  friends  could  raise  a  considerable  amount. 

" «  Nothing  for  me  except  the  plates,'  said  I. 

" '  A  foolish  fellow,'  said  Edwin  Johnson. 

"  As  I  was  leaving  he  said  :  '  Murray,  if  you  ever  get 
into  this  line  of  business,  don't  drink.  A  man  does 
things  when  he  is  drunk  that  he  never  would  dream  of 
doing  when  he  is  sober.' 

"  I  knew  he  referred  to  passing  the  bills.  Except 
when  he  was  drunk  Johnson  never  shoved  or  passed  any 
bad  bills.  The  shovers  and  the  middlemen  did  not  know 
him  at  all.     Only  the  wholesale  dealer  knew  him. 

'"If  I  had  not  been  drunk  this  would  not  have  hap- 
pened,' said  Johnson,  as  I  left  him. 

"  On  Monday  I  called  again  at  the  gaol.  Johnson  was 
as  polite  as  if  he  were  receiving  me  in  the  Indianapolis 
mansion  of  several  years  before. 

" '  Good-morning,'  said  he.  '  A  very  fine  day,  al- 
though a  trifle  hot  outdoors,  I  should  judge.' 

"  We  talked  a  few  minutes.  I  insisted  that  I  must 
have  the  plates. 

" '  All  I  want  is  the  plates,'  I  said. 

" '  I  have  thought  it  all  over,  Murray,'  said  Edwin 
Johnson.  '  I  sent  for  no  lawyer.  I  sent  no  word  home. 
I  am  going  to  turn  everything  over  to  you.  We  will 
have  to  go  out  and  get  it' 

"  I  had  a  cab.  I  sent  for  Detective  John  Hodgins,  of 
Toronto  Police  Headquarters,  and  Johnson,  Hodgins,  and 
I  drove  away  together.  Johnson  told  the  way.  We 
drove  out  to  Wells  Hill  into  a  piece  of  woods  above 
Toronto.  There  we  got  out.  The  old  man  took  obser- 
vations.    He  spotted  a  large  elm  tree.     As  he  sighted 


178     MEMOIRS  OF  A  GREAT  DETECTIVE 

and  moved  around   I  thought  of  old   Knapp   and  the 
buried  plunder  out  of  Erie. 

" <  That's  where  they  are,'  announced  the  old  man. 

"  We  took  off  our  coats,  got  sticks,  and  began  to  dig. 
It  was  a  blazing  hot  day.  We  dug  and  dug,  and  found 
nothing.  I  saw  that  the  ground  had  not  even  been  dis- 
turbed. I  remembered  Knapp,  and  told  Johnson  that  he 
was  mistaken.  He  went  back  and  took  another  range, 
and  tramped  around,  and  finally  pointed  out  another  tree. 

" '  Here  they  are,'  he  said. 

"  '  Sit  down,  Mr.  Johnson,  and  cool  off,'  said  I.  «  Mr. 
Hodgins,  you  take  the  cab  and  go  get  a  spade.' 

"  I  was  determined  not  to  waste  any  labour  on  what 
might  be  a  fool's  errand.  During  the  absence  of  Hodgins 
I  gently  reminded  Johnson  that  it  was  not  a  propitious 
time  for  a  practical  joke. 

"  «  They  are  here,  Murray,'  he  assured  me.  '  I  vow 
they  are  here.' 

"  Hodgins  returned  with  a  spade,  and  he  set  to  work. 
He  dug  while  we  waited.  Finally  he  struck  them. 
Johnson  sprang  forward  and  stayed  his  hand. 

"  '  Careful,  man  !  Careful  ! '  said  Johnson.  «  They 
took  years  to  make,  and  are  worth  over  forty  thousand 
dollars.' 

"  Johnson  lifted  them  out  as  tenderly  as  a  mother 
would  raise  her  sick  babe  from  a  cradle.  They  were 
wrapped  in  oiled  cloth,  and  were  encased  in  solid  cover- 
ings of  beeswax. 

"  '  Here  they  are,  Murray,'  said  Johnson,  handing  them 
to  me.  «  They  cost  over  forty  thousand  dollars  to  make. 
I  don't  own  all  these  plates.  A  party  on  the  other  side 
has  an  interest  in  them.' 

"  They  made  a  package  the  size  of  two  big  bricks,  and 
were  very  heavy.  I  took  Johnson  back  to  the  gaol,  and 
then  drove  to  the  Attorney- General's  Department  with 
the  plates.  There  I  examined  them,  and  saw  they  were 
the  finest  in  the  land.  I  marvelled  at  the  firmness  and 
precision  of  the  strokes,  the  authority  of  the  signatures, 
the  beauty  of  the  vignettes  and  medallions,  the  accuracy 
of  following  all  the  little  whimsies  of  the  engravers  of 


MILLION  DOLLAR  COUNTERFEITING    179 

the  original,  genuine  plates.  For  each  bill  there  were 
three  copper  plates — one  for  the  front,  one  for  the  back, 
and  one  for  the  wedge.  Each  plate  was  about  one  quar- 
ter of  an  inch  in  thickness.  I  scored  them  crisscross, 
and  locked  them  up.  Not  only  were  the  six  Canada 
counterfeits  in  the  lot,  but  the  plates  for  the  counterfeit 
States  $5  bill  were  there.  There  were  twenty-one  sepa- 
rate copper  pieces  or  plates,  three  each  for  the  Bank  of 
Commerce  $10,  the  Bank  of  Commerce  $5,  the  Bank  of 
British  North  America  $5,  the  Ontario  Bank  $10,  the 
Dominion  Bank  $4,  the  Government  issue  $1,  and  the 
United  States  $5. 

"  I  went  to  the  gaol  and  saw  Johnson. 

" '  Yes,'  said  Johnson,  when  I  asked  him,  '  Hill  made 
the  States  $5,  and  I  made  the  others.  It  took  me  years 
to  do  them.' 

"  Johnson  then  told  me  the  whole  story.  He  made 
the  plates  in  the  States.  His  daughters  forged  the  sig- 
natures. They  had  been  trained  in  forging  or  duplicating 
signatures  since  childhood.  They  would  spend  hours  a 
day  duplicating  a  single  signature,  and  would  work  at  the 
one  name  for  months,  writing  it  countless  thousands  of 
times.  Jessie  was  better  on  larger  handwriting,  and 
Annie  was  better  on  smaller  handwriting.  The  boys 
were  learning  to  be  engravers,  and  one  or  two  of  them 
were  so  proficient  that  the  old  man  spoke  of  them  with 
pride. 

"'  I  am  the  best,'  he  said  proudly, '  and  one  of  my  boys 
may  become  better  than  I.' 

"  He  said  they  had  printed  large  quantities  of  the  bills. 
They  printed  once  a  year.  After  each  printing  the 
plates  were  encased  in  beeswax  and  oilcloth  and  buried, 
and  the  other  paraphernalia  was  destroyed.  The  bills 
were  turned  over  to  the  wholesale  dealer  in  the  queer. 
The  wholesale  dealer,  in  turn,  placed  it  with  the  retail 
dealer,  who  placed  it  with  the  shover. 

" '  The  engraver,  the  man  who  makes  the  plates,  is  the 
only  one  who  deserves  credit  or  praise,'  said  Johnson. 
'  He  has  the  skill,  the  creative  genius.  Yet,  Murray, 
every  time  I  get  drunk  the  debased  desire  comes  over 


i8o     MEMOIRS  OF  A  GREAT  DETECTIVE 

me  to  descend  to  the  low  level  of  a  shover,  a  passer  of 
the  queer.  I  cannot  account  for  it.  It  is  my  lower 
nature.  When  I  drink  I  indulge  in  it,  and  because  I 
drank  and  indulged  in  it  you  got  me.' 

"  I  told  him  it  was  through  Johnnie  I  came  upon  him, 
and  he  was  much  relieved  to  think  that  he  had  not  been 
the  first  to  give  me  the  scent.  Johnson  said  the  half  in- 
terest in  the  plates  was  owned  in  the  States.  He  had 
lived  in  the  Hazelton  Avenue  house  a  little  over  twelve 
months,  and  had  been  out  comparatively  seldom  during 
the  entire  year. 

"On  August  19th,  1880,  I  went  to  Washington,  and 
called  on  the  Hon.  John  Sherman,  Secretary  of  the 
Treasury,  and  told  him  the  story  and  showed  to  him  the 
$5  bill  plates  of  the  State  issue.  He  congratulated  me, 
and  said  it  was  one  of  the  most  valuable  hauls  of  counter- 
feit plates  ever  made.  Secretary  Sherman  sent  for  Jim 
Brooks,  chief  of  the  Secret  Service. 

" '  We  want  Mr.  Murray  used  well  in  this  matter,'  said 
Secretary  Sherman  to  Brooks. 

"  I  gave  to  Brooks  the  names  of  the  parties  I  had  ob- 
tained from  Johnson.  They  were  arrested,  and  gave  the 
names  of  Howard  and  Swanston  and  others.  Their  right 
names  were  not  given,  and  I  received  none  of  the  credit 
that  otherwise  might  have  occurred. 

"  Edwin  Johnson  was  placed  on  trial  at  the  Fall  Assizes 
in  1880,  in  Toronto,  before  Chief  Justice  Hagarty.  When 
he  was  arraigned,  the  Chief  Justice  looked  down  at  him 
and  asked : 

"'  Who  is  your  attorney?  ' 

"  '  Murray,'  said  Johnson. 

"  '  What  Murray  ?  '  asked  the  Chief  Justice. 

" '  Your  lordship,  he  means  Detective  Murray,'  said 
Counsel  ^milius  Irving. 

"  There  was  much  laughter.  Seven  indictments  were 
read,  one  after  another.  Johnson  pleaded  guilty  to  every 
one.  The  counsel  for  the  Crown  asked  the  Court  to 
suspend  sentence,  and  the  Court  did  so.  Johnson  was 
released,  and  I  took  him  and  his  daughters  to  the  States, 
where  the  United  States  authorities  desired  to  make  use 


MILLION  DOLLAR  COUNTERFEITING    181 

of  them.  The  family  jumped  out  of  Canada.  The  son 
Tom,  the  lame  one,  had  started  a  blind  tobacco  store  in 
King  Street,  Toronto.  He  was  arrested  in  Erie,  Pa.  He 
was  searched,  and  nothing  was  found.  He  carried  a  cane. 
Its  top  was  unscrewed,  and  the  cane  was  found  to  be  stuffed 
with  bogus  bills.  Tom  went  to  the  penitentiary  for 
shoving. 

"  Johnnie  Johnson  was  arrested  in  Black  Rock  at 
Buffalo,  and  locked  up  for  shoving.  I  called  to  see  him 
when  he  was  in  gaol.  He  got  counsel,  and  escaped  con- 
viction. Six  years  ago  Tom  and  Charlie  were  arrested 
at  Sarnia,  in  Canada,  for  having  counterfeit  money,  and 
they  were  convicted  and  sent  to  the  penitentiary.  They 
had  no  business  to  set  foot  in  Canada.  Johnnie  was 
arrested  here  in  Toronto,  after  getting  out  in  Buffalo.  He 
was  shoving  the  $10  Bank  of  Commerce  bill,  and  he  got 
ten  years  in  Kingston.  He  too  should  have  stayed  out 
of  Canada. 

"  After  Charlie  got  out  of  the  Canadian  penitentiary 
for  the  Sarnia  business,  he  went  to  Detroit,  and  on 
August  1 2th,  1898,  he  and  young  Ed  or  Elijah  were 
arrested.  The  old  man  was  dead.  The  mother  and 
sisters  were  living  at  No.  106  McGraw  Avenue,  Detroit. 
David  Henry  was  living  at  No.  795  26th  Street,  Detroit, 
and  was  married  and  had  two  children.  Detectives 
Kane,  Downey,  and  Reegan,  with  Webb,  of  the  Secret 
Service,  got  them.  They  searched  their  houses,  and 
found  a  hollow  place  in  the  base  board  which  opened 
with  a  secret  spring,  and  revealed  a  panel  cabinet,  in 
which  was  between  $7,000  and  $10,000  of  counterfeit 
notes  of  the  $2  Hancock  issue  and  Windom  issue  of 
1 89 1  and  1893.  On  the  bills  the  eyes  had  an  upward 
stare,  which  was  the  only  flaw.  One  of  the  family  got 
away,  and  was  caught  at  Blenheim,  Ontario.  The  two 
girls  were  taken  to  Washington,  as  I  had  taken  them  in 
1880.  The  mother  was  arraigned  for  disposing  of  coun- 
terfeit money.  She  always  did  the  changing  with  the 
wholesale  dealers. 

"  Old  Hill  in  1896  was  still  in  prison  in  the  United 
States,  under  the  name  of  John  Murphy.     Part  of  the 


1 82     MEMOIRS  OF  A  GREAT  DETECTIVE 

Johnson  family  is  in  prison,  part  is  out  and  their  where- 
abouts known,  and  part  is  dead. 

"  They  were  a  wonderful  family.  Their  biggest  coup 
was  the  Canada  counterfeiting.  They  placed  over 
$1,000,000  of  the  Canada  bills.  Up  in  the  Hudson  Bay 
district  the  Johnson  bills  to  this  day  pass  as  readily  as 
gold.  The  capture  of  the  plates  put  an  end  to  the  issue 
of  more  bills.  The  banks  were  delighted,  of  course. 
They  had  talked  of  a  reward.  I  received  it — in  thanks. 
A  meeting  was  held  of  the  bankers  in  the  Receiver- 
General's  office  in  Toronto,  and  I  was  thanked  formally 
for  what  I  had  done.  At  that  meeting  I  laid  some  of  the 
Johnson  bills  side  by  side  with  some  of  the  genuine  bills. 
Some  of  the  experts  failed  to  tell  which  were  good  and 
which  were  counterfeit. 

"  I  treated  old  man  Johnson  fairly.  The  Canada 
counterfeiting  was  broken  up,  the  plates  were  captured 
and  incapacitated,  and  the  Johnsons  lived  in  the  States, 
or  if  they  set  foot  again  in  Canada,  went  to  prison.  Crime 
lost  a  genius  when  old  man  Johnson  died." 


XXXI 

HENEY,  OF  THE  WELTED  FOREHEAD 

Beneath  the  big  trees  in  front  of  the  farmhouse  of  John 
Morrison,  chief  constable  of  the  county  of  Russell,  who 
lived  near  the  village  of  Bearbrook,  a  score  of  women 
were  flitting  to  and  fro  on  Friday,  June  25th,  1880,  bear- 
ing steaming  dishes  or  plates  or  pitchers  to  a  table  that 
seemed  spread  for  the  feeding  of  a  regiment.  Some  were 
singing,  others  were  jesting  or  gossiping  as  they  bustled 
about.  From  the  woods  near  by  came  the  sound  of 
many  voices,  the  shouts  of  men,  the  ring  of  axes,  and  the 
crash  of  falling  trees.  It  was  sunset  time.  A  horn  blew. 
An  answering  chorus  of  cheers  came  from  the  woods, 
where  a  great  clearing  had  been  opened  since  the  morn- 
ing. The  ring  of  axe  and  crash  of  tree  ceased.  Out  of 
the  timber   came  a  little  host  like  the  vanguard  of  a 


HENEY,  OF  THE  WELTED  FOREHEAD  183 

marching  army.  There  were  stalwart  men  bare-headed, 
bare-armed,  bare-throated,  with  axes  on  their  shoulders 
or  in  their  belts.  Teams  of  horses  followed  them,  dozens 
of  teams,  with  more  men  behind  them.  They  swarmed 
into  the  road  and  came  homeward  enveloped  in  a  cloud 
of  dust.  All  halted  at  the  barn  and  tended  to  the  horses 
first,  then  left  them  and  the  axes  and  came  empty-handed 
to  the  hoilse. 

The  feast  was  waiting.  They  sat  down  amid  laughter 
and  shouts,  and  as  they  feasted  they  told  the  story  of  the 
day's  work ;  of  the  race  between  champion  choppers  to 
fell  mighty  trees ;  of  the  rivalry  between  famed  teams  in 
the  drawing  of  the  logs  ;  of  the  tricks  of  toppling  trees  in 
unexpected  directions.  Between  stories  they  sang,  men 
and  women  joining  in  the  choruses.  John  Morrison  sat 
at  the  head  of  the  table — a  fine  host,  a  goodly  man  to  look 
upon.  He  was  in  merry  mood  ;  for  the  axes  had  cut  that 
day  beyond  his  expectation,  and  the  clearing  was  larger 
even  than  he  had  dared  hope  it  would  be.  He  pledged 
to  his  neighbours,  that  if  ever  they  wanted  five  strong 
men  and  four  stout  teams,  for  a  land-clearing  bee,  let 
them  simply  send  a  good  word  to  John  Morrison,  who 
with  his  teams  and  men  was  at  their  command.  The 
cheers  that  greeted  this  were  dying  away  when  a  hoarse 
hail  sounded  from  the  roadway.  Morrison  stood  up. 
His  face  grew  stern.  He  left  the  table  and  walked  down 
to  his  gate. 

Two  men  were  waiting  at  the  gate.  One  was  a  bull- 
dog faced  fellow  with  a  deep  furrow  across  his  forehead, 
between  his  eyes  and  hair ;  and  when  he  scowled,  this 
furrow  deepened  to  a  purple  welt.  He  was  Bill  Heney 
— Bad  Bill,  a  tough  fellow  of  the  countryside,  given  to 
bullying  and  roystering.  The  man  with  him  was  his 
brother-in-law,  Bud  Harrison.  Bill  had  not  been  seen  for 
several  months.  In  the  past  winter  he  had  assaulted  a 
neighbour,  and  a  warrant  for  him  had  been  placed  in 
Morrison's  hands  with  instructions  to  arrest  Bill,  if  he  did 
not  keep  out  of  the  country. 

"  Morrison,"  said  Heney,  "  you've  got  a  warrant  for  me. 
Why  don't  you  execute  it  ?     I'rrf  tired  staying  away." 


1 84     MEMOIRS  OF  A  GREAT  DETECTIVE 

"  You  had  better  go  away,  Heney,"  said  Morrison. 

Heney's  answer  was  a  volley  of  oaths,  which  ended  in 
the  flash  of  a  revolver  shot.  Morrison  fell  by  his  gate- 
way. Heney  turned  and  fled.  The  neighbours  at  the 
feast  sprang  up.  Some  carried  Morrison  into  the  house, 
others  mounted  and  rode  for  doctors,  others  gave  chase 
to  Heney.  They  pursued  him  to  the  Harrison  woods,  a 
dense  tract  of  timber,  with  an  area  of  ten  miles.  In  the 
centre  of  this  tract,  in  a  little  clearing,  lived  the  Heneys, 
father  and  mother  of  the  refugee ;  and,  since  the  winter- 
time, Mrs.  Bill  Heney  had  lived  with  them.  Heney, 
with  the  neighbours  close  upon  him,  plunged  into  the 
thickets  of  the  woods  and  vanished.  The  doctors 
worked  in  vain  over  Morrison.  He  died  in  agony.  The 
neighbours  set  a  watch  on  the  Heney  house,  and  mean- 
while notified  the  Department  of  Justice. 

"  When  I  arrived  at  Morrison's,"  says  Murray,  "  the 
neighbours  reported  that  Heney's  wife  had  been  seen, 
day  after  day,  sneaking  from  the  house  out  into  the 
thickets  with  a  tin  pail,  and  they  were  certain  she  was 
carrying  meals  to  Heney.  They  were  positive  Heney 
was  concealed  in  the  woods.  I  decided  to  beat  the 
woods.  I  called  on  the  neighbours  to  rally  the  country- 
side. They  came  with  a  rush  from  every  section  of  the 
district.  I  counted  them  off,  and  there  were  one  hun- 
dred and  forty-three  men,  with  a  host  of  boys  and  a 
legion  of  dogs.  All  the  men  had  guns  or  revolvers. 
Some  of  them  also  had  knives,  axes,  and  clubs.  A  few 
had  pitchforks,  and  I  remember  two  had  scythes.  We 
divided  them  into  squads  and  spread  them  out  in  a  circle, 
surrounding  the  woods  fairly  well.  We  swore  in  the 
men  as  special  constables.  Every  squad  had  a  captain, 
and  every  captain  had  a  separate  section  of  the  woods. 
At  the  word  all  advanced  in  the  man-hunt,  to  beat  the 
woods  and  capture  Heney.  I  can  hear  them  still  as  they 
moved  forward,  the  dogs  barking,  the  boys  cheering. 
As  they  advanced  they  kept  in  touch.  I  left  some 
watchers  outside  the  woods  on  horseback ;  so  if  Heney 
slipped  past  the  searchers  and  sought  to  escape,  the 
watchers  would  see  him  and  give  chase. 


HENEY,  OF  THE  WELTED  FOREHEAD     185 

"  Hour  by  hour  the  circle  drew  in.  Every  yard  of 
land  in  the  Harrison  woods  was  beaten.  We  travelled 
around  the  circle  as  it  narrowed,  and  we  saw  the  hunters 
searching  even  the  bushes  and  the  tree-tops.  They  were 
to  capture  Heney  alive,  if  possible ;  but  if  he  showed 
fight,  they  were  to  shoot  him  like  a  dog.  Under  no 
circumstances  were  they  to  shoot  until  they  saw  him  and 
knew  it  was  Heney.  The  circle  closed  in  on  the  little 
clearing.  Rabbits  and  wild  fowl  had  been  driven  in,  but 
no  trace  of  Heney  had  been  found.  As  the  cordon  of 
men,  boys,  and  dogs  stepped  out  into  the  little  clearing 
and  closed  together  around  the  house,  Bad  Bill's  mother 
let  out  one  of  the  most  awful  cries  of  human  agony  I 
ever  have  heard. 

"  '  Oh,  my  poor  boy  !  My  poor  boy  !  They'll  hang 
you  ! '  she  wailed. 

"  She  rolled  over  on  the  ground  in  her  grief  and 
howled  forth  her  misery.  We  searched  all  the  more 
diligently.  The  hunters  stood  in  a  solid  circle  around 
the  house.  Every  man  in  the  circle  had  a  gun,  and  be- 
hind them  stood  the  other  men  and  boys,  and  on  the  far 
outside  the  dogs.  We  went  into  the  house,  the  old 
woman  begging  us  to  spare  her  son's  life.  We  searched 
in  that  shanty  for  an  hour,  and  he  was  not  there  at  all. 
I  walked  out,  and  when  the  old  woman  spied  me  she 
ceased  wailing  and  began  to  grin.  I  called  off  the 
hunters  and  left  the  woods. 

"  I  set  men  to  watch  the  house  for  weeks.  Heney 
never  appeared.  He  was  not  in  the  woods  at  any  time, 
since  before  the  search.  I  began  to  watch  the  mails,  and 
intercepted  a  letter  from  Heney  to  his  mother-in-law.  He 
told  her  he  was  writing  in  a  schoolhouse  in  Fort  Win- 
gate,  in  New  Mexico.  He  told  her  how  he  hid  in  the 
woods  until  nightfall  on  the  day  of  the  shooting  ;  how 
he  crept  out  in  the  darkness  and  boarded  a  freight  train 
and  got  away  to  Boston ;  and  how  he  went  from  Boston 
out  to  the  southwest,  where  he  was  going  to  work  for 
John  Sullivan,  a  Boston  contractor  in  the  building  of  the 
Santa  Fe  Railroad.  I  knew  a  John  Sullivan  in  Boston 
who  was  a  railroad  contractor,  and  I  learned  by  telegraph 


1 86     MEMOIRS  OF  A  GREAT  DETECTIVE 

that  the  John  Sullivan  I  knew  was  the  John  Sullivan  for 
whom  Heney  was  going  to  work  in  New  Mexico.  In 
the  meantime  I  had  billed  Heney  all  over  the  country ; 
and  I  sent  to  John  Sullivan,  in  New  Mexico,  a  copy  of 
the  bill.  It  had  a  picture  of  Heney  in  the  upper  left- 
hand  corner,  and  read  as  follows,  in  heavy,  black  type  : — 

#250  REWARD  ! 

Is  offered  by  authority  of  the  Ontario  Government 
for  the  arrest  and  detention  of  William  Heney,  for 
the  murder  of  John  Morrison,  at  Bearbrook,  in  the 
county  of  Russell,  Canada,  on  the  25th  of  June, 
1880. 

William  Heney  is  34  years  of  age;  about  five 
feet  ten  inches  high  ;  weighs  about  160  lb.  His  com- 
plexion is  very  dark,  and  he  has  raven  black  hair  and 
small  dark  grey  eyes.  His  forehead  is  a  very  peculiar 
shape,  and  has  a  furrow  running  across  it  midway 
between  the  eyes  and  hair ;  nose  very  low  between 
the  eyes,  and  then  a  rise,  then  a  hollow,  and  the  end 
rises  again;  one  front  tooth  out;  large  dimple  in 
the  chin ;  shoulders  a  little  stooped  ;  walks  with  a 
shuffling  gait. 

Heney  is  a  Canadian  by  birth,  of  Irish  parents, 
and  used  to  work  as  a  farm  labourer. 

The  above  photograph  was  taken  two  or  three  years 
ago — Heney  was  then  stouter  and  fuller  in  the  face 
than  he  is  now. 

When  arrested,  communicate  immediately  with 
J.  W.  Murray, 

Government  Detective, 

Toronto,  Canada. 

"  I  sent  a  second  copy  of  this  to  my  friend  John 
Sullivan  out  in  New  Mexico,  and  early  in  December, 
1880,  I  received  a  reply  from  him  that  a  man  answering 
the  description  was  in  one  of  his  gangs.  On  December 
14th  I  started  for  Fort  Wingate.  As  I  was  leaving  the 
office  on  my  way  to  the  train,  I  •  received  a  telegram 
from  Sam  Farmer,  city  marshal  of  Fort  Worth,  Texas. 
It  read : 

"  '  Have  arrested  Heney  here.' 


HENEY,  OF  THE  WELTED  FOREHEAD  187 

"  I  went  through  to  Fort  Worth,  and  Sam  met  me 
when  I  arrived. 

"  *  I've  got  your  man,  John,  beyond  doubt,'  said 
Farmer. 

"  '  Maybe  so,  Sam,'  said  I ;  '  but  I'm  afraid  it  is  a  mis- 
take.' 

"  I  looked  the  fellow  over.  He  was  almost  Heney's 
double,  but  he  was  not  Heney.  Sam  was  crestfallen. 
That  was  on  the  evening  of  December  22d.  I  was 
stopping  at  the  El  Paso  Inn.  A  northerner  came  up, 
and  it  grew  very  cold.  There  was  no  adequate  heating 
apparatus  in  my  room  at  the  hotel,  and  Sam  sent  word 
for  me  to  meet  him  at  Smith's  saloon,  a  drinking  place 
with  a  billiard-room  beyond  the  barroom,  and  with  swing 
doors  between.  The  bartender  was  alone  in  the  bar 
when  I  entered.  I  told  him  Sam  Farmer  had  sent  word 
to  me  to  meet  him  there.  I  sat  down  in  a  chair.  All 
was  very  quiet.  Some  men  were  playing  billiards  in 
the  adjoining  room,  and  I  could  hear  the  click  of  the 
balls. 

" '  Come,  sit  behind  the  bar,'  said  the  bartender  to  me, 
after  a  sudden  silence  in  the  billiard-room. 

"  '  No,  thank  you  ;  I'm  very  comfortable  here,'  said  I, 
in  my  chair  by  the  swing  doors. 

" '  Come,'  said  the  bartender  abruptly.  •  Sam  Farmer 
wouldn't  like  it  if  a  guest  of  his  got  hurt.' 

"  «  Hurt  ? '  said  I.     '  What's  the  trouble  ?  ' 

" '  Move  over  behind  the  bar,'  said  the  bartender. 
'  Take  my  word  for  it.' 

"  He  seemed  a  decent  sort  of  chap,  so  I  moved.  I  sat 
on  a  beer  keg  behind  the  bar  for  about  five  minutes. 
The  stove  was  red  hot,  and  I  began  to  perspire.  I 
thought  it  was  a  joke.  The  bartender  was  squatting  on 
a  box  back  of  the  bar.  Not  a  sound  was  to  be  heard 
except  the  quiet  shuffle  of  the  feet  and  the  click  of  the 
balls  in  the  billiard-room.  I  was  dripping  with  perspir- 
ation. I  stood  it  for  another  five  minutes,  and  was 
about  to  step  out  and  address  a  few  remarks  to  the  bar- 
tender when  — 

"  '  Bang  !    Bang  ! '    went  two  revolver  shots  in  quick 


1 88     MEMOIRS  OF  A  GREAT  DETECTIVE 

succession  in  the  next  room,  followed  by  a  third,  and 
then  silence. 

" '  All  right,'  said  the  bartender  cheerily,  to  me. 
*  She's  all  over.  Pretty  hot  back  in  here,  wasn't  it  ? 
Too  bad,  but  it  was  more  dignified  than  squatting  back 
of  a  box.' 

"  While  he  was  speaking  the  swing  doors  of  the  bil- 
liard-room opened  and  a  nice-looking  fellow  stepped  into 
the  barroom  with  a  revolver  in  his  hand. 

" '  Has  Sam  Farmer  got  around  yet  ? '  he  asked  of  the 
bartender. 

"  «  No  sir,'  said  the  bartender,  as  if  nothing  had  hap- 
pened. '  He's  due  in  a  few  minutes,  as  there  is  a  friend 
waiting  for  him.' 

"  The  man  with  the  revolver  in  his  hand  turned  to  me. 
I  dodged  behind  the  stove  and  reached  for  my  own  gun. 
He  smiled  and  held  up  his  hand. 

"  '  No,  no,'  he  said  gently.     '  Come,  join  me  in  a  cigar.' 

"  The  bartender  nodded  to  me. 

"  '  It's  all  right,'  he  said.     '  The  shooting's  all  over.' 

"  Just  then  Sam  Farmer  entered.  The  fellow  bade 
him  good-evening,  and  then,  without  an  explanatory 
word,  handed  Sam  his  revolver,  a  44  Colt. 

" '  Ah,'  said  Sam  quickly.  '  You've  done  it,  have 
you?' 

"  '  In  the  billiard-room,  sir,'  said  the  bartender  briskly. 

" '  I'll  have  to  lock  you  up,'  said  Sam,  and  turning  to 
me,  invited  me  to  accompany  him. 

"  We  walked  to  the  lockup,  where  Sam  threw  open  the 
door  and  said :  «  Wait  for  me,  Charlie.'  My  new  ac- 
quaintance went  in  and  sat  down  while  Sam  and  I  re- 
turned to  the  saloon.  They  were  just  carrying  the 
corpse  out.  The  judge  had  arrived  and  went  to  the 
court-house,  and  a  dozen  men  offered  to  go  bail.  The 
bonds  were  filled  out,  and  Sam  sent  word  to  the  lockue 
for  the  fellow  to  come  out. 

" '  It  was  an  old  score,'  said  Sam.  •  They  happened  lo 
meet  and  they  settled  it.' 

"  Business  went  on  as  usual.  The  next  morning  a 
paragraph  in  the  paper  simply  stated  the  shooting  had 


HENEY,  OF  THE  WELTED  FOREHEAD  189 

occurred.  The  shooter  was  acquitted.  The  dead  man 
had  gone  back  to  his  pistol  pocket  first. 

" '  There  is  little  hanging  for  murder  here,  unless  it  is 
murderous  robbery,'  said  Sam  Farmer.  '  But  they  hang 
for  stealing  mules.' 

"  Two  days  later  I  was  on  my  way  to  Albuquerque, 
and  I  arrived  in  Fort  Wingate,  New  Mexico,  on  De- 
cember 29th.  I  learned  that  my  man  Heney  had  worked 
for  a  week  there,  and  then  had  gone  on  to  the  front  of 
the  new  railroad.  I  called  at  the  United  States  Army 
headquarters  there,  and  the  officer  in  command  was  a 
gentleman,  through  and  through.  He  said  he  would 
give  me  every  assistance  in  his  power.  Lieutenant  Wat- 
son, a  bright,  intelligent  officer,  was  sent  for.  He  got  a 
sergeant  and  three  horses,  and  we  started  to  ride  out  to 
the  front,  where  the  railroad  was  being  built  across  to- 
wards the  coast.  We  rode  about  forty  miles,  and  on  be- 
yond where  the  rails  had  been  laid,  out  to  the  farthest 
outpost  gang,  for  Heney  had  kept  in  the  van.  They 
were  a  tough  crowd,  these  road  builders,  culled  from  all 
parts  of  the  country,  some  of  them,  like  Heney,  fled 
from  justice  and  buried  in  the  wilds  of  the  southwest. 
Sullivan,  of  Boston,  was  at  the  front.  He  said  Heney 
had  started  out  alone  with  another  fellow,  the  pair  saying 
they  were  going  to  hoof  it  to  Lower  California. 

"  The  Army  men  and  I  rode  on  out,  and  stopped  and 
looked  ahead  to  where  the  earth  and  sky  seemed  to  meet. 
In  the  intervening  reaches  of  space  no  living  man  or 
beast  or  bird  was  to  be  seen.  The  heat  hovered  over  the 
waste  places  as  if  a  vast  furnace  lay  beyond.  Sullivan 
had  said  that  one  of  the  two  men  who  started  out  had 
been  shot  by  an  Indian,  and  that  from  what  he  heard  of 
the  raven-black  scalp  it  was  Heney,  as  the  fellow  who  had 
started  with  him  had  red  hair.  We  turned  and  rode 
back  to  the  rude  outpost  of  civilisation,  the  shelter  of  the 
van-gang  of  road  builders.  On  every  side  stretched  the 
seemingly  endless  expanse  of  earth.  I  looked  to  the 
western  skyline,  where  the  strange  roads  went  down. 

" '  Poor  Heney  ! '  I  thought,  and  I  turned  homeward 

"  He  never  came  back." 


190     MEMOIRS  OF  A  GREAT  DETECTIVE 

XXXII 

THE  TOOKES'S  REVEL  IN  RICHES 

Charlie  Tookes  was  a  school-teacher.  He  had  a 
younger  brother,  George  Tookes,  who  decided  that  he 
would  be  a  millionaire.  All  that  was  necessary  was  to 
get  $i  and  add  $999,999  to  it;  the  sooner  he  began,  the 
sooner  he  would  finish.  So  in  the  tender  years  of  his 
youth,  George  Tookes  set  forth  to  accumulate  seven 
figures  of  worldly  wealth.  He  pottered  around  at  odd 
jobs  for  a  couple  of  years,  and  then  struck  a  balance. 
He  had  $16  of  the  $1,000,000.  At  the  rate  of  $8  a  year 
he  would  be  over  a  hundred  thousand  years  old  before 
he  could  sit  back  in  his  private  car  and  gaze  out  upon  the 
world  through  the  window — a  millionaire. 

George  Tookes's  father  was  a  minister — a  good  man, 
of  ancient  family  and  respected  name — who  lived  east  of 
Brockville,  and  who  gave  little  thought  to  laying  up 
treasure  where  moth  and  rust  would  corrupt,  and  where 
thieves  would  break  through  and  steal.  He  gave  both 
of  his  boys  a  good  education,  and  had  taught  them  faith- 
fully that  the  love  of  money  was  the  root  of  all  evil. 
George  Tookes  grieved  the  good  man  by  painting  a 
motto  for  the  wall,  declaring  that  the  lack  of  money  was 
the  root  of  all  evil.  When  the  lack  fell  heavy  on  George, 
he  would  fall  back  on  his  brother  Charlie.  On  these 
visits  the  dead-broke  George  would  confide  in  the  school- 
teaching  Charlie  his  plans  to  wake  up  some  sunny  morn- 
ing and  have  the  bank  telephone  him  he  was  a  millionaire. 

Charlie  was  a  bookish  sort ;  he  would  listen  to  George's 
dreams  and  would  blink.  Money,  to  Charlie,  was  some- 
thing to  read  about,  with  an  occasional  glimpse  of  a 
sample  of  it  on  its  way  to  the  landlady  or  the  clothing 
store.  But  such  a  thing  as  having  $15  in  his  inside 
pocket  was  something  beyond  the  range  of  Charlie's 
imagination.  When  George,  therefore,  descended  upon 
Charlie  after  two  years'  travelling  on  the  highway  to  be- 
coming a  millionaire  and  produced  $16  Charlie  was  daz- 


THE  TOOKES'S  REVEL  IN  RICHES       191 

zled.  George  was  affluent  beyond  Charlie's  wildest 
dreams  of  riches. 

"  It's  very  easy,"  said  George.  "  Once  you  get  money 
started  your  way  it  comes  of  its  own  accord.  All  money 
wants  is  a  leader ;  it  follows  the  leader." 

Charlie  blinked  many  times  and  looked  again  at  the 
fortune  of  $16  in  the  hands  of  George. 

"  For  instance,"  said  George,  "  it  is  very  simple  for  you 
to  make  money.  In  your  own  particular  line  of  business 
— this  educating  line — what  do  the  most  people  want 
most  at  the  present  time  ?  " 

It  was  June,  1881.  The  examinations  in  the  high 
schools  and  colleges  were  about  to  be  held  throughout  all 
Canada.     Charlie  gravely  pondered  George's  question. 

"  Advance  papers,"  he  answered. 

"  What's  that  ? "  asked  the  embryonic  emperor  of 
finance. 

"  Advance  copies  of  the  examination  papers,  so  they 
will  know  what  questions  they  will  have  to  answer,"  said 
Charlie. 

George  thought  the  matter  over. 

"  A  good  idea,"  he  said.     "  A  capital  idea." 

"  What  is  it  ?  "  said  the  confiding  Charlie. 

"  Why,  we'll  furnish  them  the  papers,"  said  George. 

"  But  where  will  we  get  them  ?  "  asked  his  brother. 

"  Leave  that  to  me,"  said  the  future  millionaire. 

George  went  away.  He  visited  various  high  schools 
and  educational  institutions  and,  by  one  pretext  or 
another,  obtained  lists  of  those  about  to  be  graduated, 
and  more  particularly  of  those  who  expected  to  apply 
for  admission.  He  represented  himself  as  a  book  agent 
and  stationery  seller,  and  in  other  ways  managed  to  get 
copies  of  the  lists.  Then  he  returned  to  Charlie,  and  his 
#16  had  dwindled  to  $3. 

"  It  takes  money  to  make  money,"  he  explained  to 
Charlie,  when  the  latter  asked  for  a  glimpse  once  more 
of  the  fabulous  sum  of  $16. 

George  set  Charlie  to  work  preparing  a  set  of  questions 
and  answers. 

"  Make  them  precisely  as  if  you  were  preparing  a  set 


192     MEMOIRS  OF  A  GREAT  DETECTIVE 

of  examination  papers,  marking  the  standard  for  the  high 
schools  of  Canada,"  said  George. 

Charlie  worked  day  and  night  on  the  task.  George, 
meanwhile,  was  making  scores  of  copies  of  a  letter  he  had 
drafted.  It  was  marked  confidential,  and  stated  that  the 
writer  was  glad  to  inform  the  reader  that  a  complete  set 
of  the  questions  and  answers  in  the  examination  of  such 
and  such  a  school  might  be  had  for  the  simple  pledge  of 

confidence  and  the  small  amount    of  .     George 

left  the  price  blank,  as  it  would  vary  according  to  the 
school  or  college.  For  some  the  price  was  $10,  for  others 
it  ranged  as  high  as  $50.  Charlie  had  suggested  a  fee  of 
50  cents  for  high  schools  and  $1  for  colleges  ;  but  Charlie 
was  ambitious  to  become  worth  $16,  while  George 
aimed  $999,984  higher.  George's  scale  of  prices  pre- 
vailed. The  letters  were  written,  the  papers  prepared 
by  Charlie  were  copied.  George  took  a  big  bundle  of 
envelopes  to  the  post-office  and  dropped  them  through 
the  slot. 

"  In  a  few  days  you  will  be  a  rich  man,"  said  George 
to  Charlie. 

"  I  have  my  doubts,"  said  Charlie  to  George. 

The  few  days  passed.  Letters  began  to  pile  in ;  every 
mail  brought  a  batch,  and  every  batch  brought  a  bundle 
of  money.  Every  enclosure  of  money  was  answered 
with  a  copy  of  the  papers  prepared  by  Charlie. 

"  What  did  I  tell  you  ?  "  said  George,  as  the  bank-notes 
overflowed  Charlie's  sack,  in  which  they  had  decided  to 
keep  them.  "  Money  flows  in.  You  are  worth  $500 
already." 

"  I  feel  that  I  have  enough,"  said  Charlie. 

George  smiled  pityingly  on  him. 

A  few  days  later  they  moved  on  to  another  post-office 
address,  Charlie  leaving  his  school.  From  their  new 
headquarters  they  sent  out  a  second  batch  of  letters  and 
the  answers  poured  in,  and  in  a  few  days  they  moved  on 
again. 

"  I  heard  of  them  in  the  form  of  a  dozen  complaints 
from  honest,  straightforward,  righteous  folk  who  had  sent 
them  money  to  buy  examination  papers  and  had  found  the 


THE  TOOKES'S  REVEL  IN  RICHES       193 

papers  worthless,"  says  Murray.  "  I  heard  of  them  in 
Kingston,  Belleville,  Cobourg,  Port  Hope,  and  all  along.  I 
suppose  those  who  bought  the  bogus  examination  papers 
did  so,  not  to  use  for  themselves,  but  to  destroy  them  with- 
out looking  at  them,  and  thereby  keep  them  out  of  the 
hands  of  others.  However,  their  course  did  not  affect  the 
attitude  of  the  law  towards  the  Tookes  brothers.  I  set  out 
to  learn  their  next  probable  headquarters.  I  intercepted 
some  letters  in  Brantford,  identified  by  the  return  mark  and 
I  sent  a  decoy  letter  to  them  at  Paris,  Ontario,  in  which  I 
wrote  as  a  tender  young  lady  of  high  hopes  and  ad- 
vancing years,  who  did  not  dread  the  examinations,  but 
nevertheless  preferred  to  make  sure.  On  the  day  I 
mailed  the  letter  I  went  to  Paris  and  secreted  myself 
in  the  post-office  to  await  the  call  of  one  of  the  Tookes 
brothers. 

"  It  was  a  rainy  day,  the  streets  were  muddy,  and  the 
skies  were  pouring  down  a  modern  miniature  deluge.  In 
due  time  a  fine-looking  young  fellow  entered  the  post- 
office  and  asked  for  letters  for  Charles  or  George  Tookes. 
The  clerk  asked  him  again  for  his  name,  and  he  said 
1  Charles  Tookes.'  Thereupon  the  clerk  handed  him  my 
letter  from  Brantford  and  one  or  two  others.  Their  lists 
were  thinning  out,  and  their  mail  was  not  as  big  as  it  had 
been.  I  moved  out  from  where  I  was  concealed  in  the 
post-office.  Whether  Tookes  knew  me  or  whether  he 
suspected  something  was  wrong  I  do  not  know,  but  he 
made  a  leap  for  the  door  and  bolted  down  the  street  in 
the  rain.  I  sprang  after  him ;  he  could  run  like  a  grey- 
hound. 

"  Away  we  went  through  the  streets  of  Paris,  mud  fly- 
ing at  every  leap,  water  splashing,  Tookes  running  as  if 
his  hope  of  glory  depended  on  his  smashing  all  the 
world's  records.  Some  dogs  saw  us  and  they  dashed 
forth  in  pursuit ;  that  summoned  the  small  boys,  and 
soon  there  was  a  howling  horde  of  dogs  and  youths  trail- 
ing after  us.  I  have  chased  many  men,  but  Tookes  was 
one  of  the  fastest  runners  I  ever  saw.  I  realised  I  could  not 
catch  him  by  greater  speed,  for  he  was  swifter  than  I,  so  I 
settled  down  to  wear  him  out.     Block  after  block  we  ran. 


194     MEMOIRS  OF  A  GREAT  DETECTIVE 

My  feet  seemed  to  weigh  two  tons  apiece ;  the  sticky- 
mud  clung  to  them.  If  I  was  impersonating  justice  I 
certainly  was  leaden  heeled.  But  Tookes  was  no  better 
off  than  I.  I  could  see  him  flounder  at  times  and  strive 
to  shake  his  feet  free.  He  was  turning  a  corner  when  his 
feet  clogged,  he  slipped  and  fell  fiat  in  a  puddle  of  mud 
and  water.  I  came  up  panting  and  waited  for  him  to 
rise.  He  was  a  sight ;  mud-coated  from  head  to  foot 
with  a  face  like  a  Comanche  Indian's.  He  spluttered 
and  gasped  to  get  the  muddy  water  out  of  his  mouth. 
I  handcuffed  him,  found  the  papers,  including  my  letter, 
on  him,  and  started  back  through  the  town  at  a  proper 
gait. 

"  Twice  he  tried  to  break  away.  The  second  time  1 
stopped,  and,  placing  my  mouth  close  to  his  ear,  I  in- 
formed him  what  would  happen  if  he  tried  it  a  third 
time.  He  looked  at  my  feet,  big  as  gunboats  with  their 
armour  of  mud,  and  he  surrendered. 

"  As  we  walked  up  the  street  I  saw  a  fellow  on  the 
other  side  of  the  highway  that  looked  so  much  like  him 
that  instinctively  I  felt  it  was  the  brother. 

"  '  There's  your  brother  over  there,'  said  I. 

"  '  No,'  said  he.     '  I  never  saw  him.' 

" '  Oh  yes  it  is,'  said  I ;  and  I  called  to  the  man  across 
the  street, *  George !    Come  over  here  ;  Charlie  wants  you.' 

"  George  crossed  the  street,  and  I  promptly  handcuffed 
him  to  Charlie. 

"  I  took  them  to  Brantford.  Old  Mr.  Weymes  was 
magistrate.  He  was  a  sympathetic  old  gentleman,  with 
a  tender  heart,  which  constantly  pleaded  for  mercy  to  be 
mingled  with  justice.  They  gave  the  name  of  Tookes, 
and  Magistrate  Weymes  had  heard  of  their  father  and 
mother  and  sisters,  and  he  was  moved  to  have  compas- 
sion on  them.  Yet  justice  was  justice,  and  he  finally  sent 
them  to  the  Central  prison  for  six  months  apiece. 

"  Charlie  Tookes,  when  liberated,  resumed  a  sedate  life 
in  the  rural  districts.  George  Tookes  resumed  his  plan- 
ning to  become  a  millionaire.  The  last  I  heard  he  was 
still  in  the  vicinity  of  the  $16  mark.  But  his  hopes  were 
high." 


BIG  MAC  OF  SIMCOE  195 


XXXIII 

BIG  MAC  OF  SIMCOE,  YOUNG  SMITH,  AND 
BILL  NAY 

A  mighty  hunter  lived  in  the  county  of  Simcoe.  His 
name  was  Henry  McCormick.  Everybody  in  those  parts 
knew  him  as  Big  Mac.  He  was  a  giant,  with  the  strength 
of  two  powerful  men.  He  had  been  known  to  up-end  a 
log  as  if  it  had  been  a  barber's  pole.  He  could  shoulder 
a  deer  at  noon  and  trudge  till  nightfall,  with  the  burden 
on  his  back.  At  logging  bees  he  led  the  gangs.  In  the 
early  '70's  in  Canada  some  of  the  logging  bees  culmi- 
nated in  carnivals  of  fisticuffs  and  sometimes  in  revelries 
of  death.  After  the  big  supper,  when  the  day's  work 
was  done,  whiskey  would  be  served  like  water  and  at 
last  came  murder  in  the  moonlight.  It  was  so  in  the 
case  of  Big  Mac.  At  a  logging  bee  in  the  county  of 
Simcoe  in  1870,  with  liquor  flowing  after  the  supper,  a 
drunken  row  started,  and  a  powerful  fellow  named  John 
Pangman  became  involved  with  Big  Mac.  There  was  a 
brief  struggle,  then  Big  Mac  stumbled  on  a  stake  from  a 
sleigh.  It  was  four  feet  long  and  very  heavy.  Big  Mac 
seized  it,  thrust  Pangman  from  him  and  smashed  the 
stake  down  upon  his  head.  Pangman  went  down  in  a 
heap,  dead  as  a  stone.  Big  Mac  disappeared,  taking 
with  him  his  wife,  who  was  at  the  logging  bee. 

Eleven  years  passed.  The  county  of  Simcoe  was 
divided,  the  county  of  Dufferin  being  cut  from  it. 

"  After  the  new  county  was  made,"  says  Murray,  "  the 
old  county's  records  were  divided.  The  records  of  the 
townships  in  the  new  county  went  to  the  county  of 
Dufferin.  Included  in  them  was  the  township  of  Mulmer 
in  which  Big  Mac  had  killed  Pangman  in  a  drunken  row. 
The  new  county  had  a  new  gaol,  a  new  sheriff,  and  a 
new  county  Crown  attorney,  Mr.  McMillan.  He  found 
this  case  of  murder,  eleven  years  old,  and  wanted  to  make 
business  and  communicated  with  the  Department  of  Jus- 
tice.    I  went  to  Orangeville,  the  county  seat  of  the  new 


196     MEMOIRS  OF  A  GREAT  DETECTIVE 

county,  and  obtained  full  information  of  the  crime  and 
details  of  the  life  and  appearance  of  Big  Mac.  The  people 
all  remembered  him,  a  mighty  man,  a  great  hunter,  a 
powerful  fellow  of  colossal  frame  and  tremendous  strength, 
and  one  of  the  swiftest  men  afoot  that  the  county  ever 
had  known.  I  obtained  a  perfect  description  of  Big  Mac 
as  he  had  appeared  eleven  years  before,  and  I  billed  him 
north,  south,  east,  and  west.  No  answer  came.  I  found 
at  last  an  old-time  friend  of  Big  Mac,  who  told  me  that 
Big  Mac  had  travelled  for  several  years  after  the  murder 
and  then  had  settled  down  near  Saginaw  in  Michigan. 
I  prepared  extradition  papers  and  then  went  to  Saginaw. 

"  I  located  Big  Mac  near  Coleman,  Michigan.  I  got 
Officer  Sutherland  of  Saginaw  and  went  to  Coleman.  I 
knew  that  if  Big  Mac  saw  us  first  he  would  fight  or  flee. 
If  he  fought,  it  meant  a  desperate  battle ;  if  he  fled,  it 
meant  a  long,  hard  chase.  On  July  15th,  1881,  I  arrived 
in  Coleman.  It  was  a  hot  day  and  I  was  wearing  a  blue 
serge  suit.  Sutherland  and  I  went  to  Big  Mac's  house. 
No  one  was  there.  As  we  stood  in  the  shade  beyond 
the  house  I  looked  across  the  field  and  saw  a  man  I 
knew  at  a  glance  was  Big  Mac.  He  was  picking  berries. 
He  was  indeed  a  giant.  His  wife  was  with  him.  We 
slipped  down  to  the  field  beyond.  A  barbed  wire  fence 
was  between.  I  hailed  Big  Mac  and  asked  where  some 
one  lived.  Sutherland  was  on  the  other  side  of  the  field. 
I  started  over  the  barbed  wire  fence  when  I  hailed  Big 
Mac,  and  in  my  haste  to  get  over,  my  serge  suit,  trousers 
and  coat,  became  hooked  on  the  barbs.  I  jerked  to  get 
free  and  split  my  trousers  from  end  to  end  and  tore  two 
long  slits  in  my  coat.  I  struggled  and  tore  my  trousers 
almost  completely  off.  Big  Mac  laughed  like  a  lion  roar- 
ing and  his  wife  pulled  her  sunbonnet  close  down  over 
her  head.  I  tied  my  slit  coat  around  my  waist  by  the 
sleeves,  wearing  it  like  an  apron,  and  went  over  to  where 
Big  Mac  was  waiting. 

"  '  Aren't  you  Henry  McCormick  ?  '  I  asked. 

" '  Yes,  what  of  it  ? '  said  Big  Mac,  still  laughing. 

"  '  I'll  have  to  arrest  you  and  take  you  back  to  Canada,' 
said  I. 


BIG  MAC  OF  SIMCOE  197 

"  Mrs.  Mac  let  out  a  howl  of  rage  and  tore  her  sun- 
bonnet  off. 

"  *  You  naked  barbarian/  she  cried, '  you'll  never  take 
him  out  of  Michigan  alive.' 

"  I  thought  she  might  mean  to  call  me  a  naked  barb- 
wirean !     She  started  at  me,  but  Big  Mac  drew  her  back. 

"  <  Silence  be,'  said  Big  Mac.  '  Tis  a  case  for  men,  not 
women.' 

"  I  thought  he  meant  a  finish  fight  there,  and  I  knew  I 
had  him  with  my  revolver  against  his  fists.  But  Big  Mac 
thrust  out  his  wrists  for  the  handcuffs  and  was  as  docile 
as  a  child.  We  went  to  his  house  and  I  borrowed  a  pair 
of  trousers,  that  looked  on  me  as  if  an  ostrich  were  to 
don  the  hide  from  an  elephant's  legs.  Big  Mac  enjoyed 
my  plight.  I  verily  think  it  was  the  sight  of  me  strug- 
gling on  the  fence,  that  put  him  in  the  good  humour  to 
submit  tamely  to  arrest. 

"  I  took  him  to  Saginaw.  He  employed  as  counsel 
the  Hon.  Tim  Tarsney,  later  a  member  of  Congress,  and 
a  son  of  Judge  Gage,  before  whom  the  extradition  case 
was  to  be  argued.  I  employed  Mr.  Durand,  and  I  had 
seen  Judge  Gage  about  the  case.  Naturally  I  felt  a  little 
squeamish  with  a  son  of  the  judge  against  me.  Big  Mac 
had  friends  in  Michigan  and  one  of  his  sons  had  married 
and  his  friends  had  money.  I  swore  a  number  of  wit- 
nesses from  Canada  at  the  extradition  hearing.  Judge 
Gage  was  strictly  honest  and  committed  Big  Mac  for 
extradition.  I  arrived  in  Orangeville  with  Big  Mac  on 
August  26th.  He  was  a  fascinating  old  fellow.  Men 
liked  him.  Although  he  had  been  away  eleven  years 
he  had  many  warm  friends.  He  was  tried  at  the  Fall 
Assizes  in  1881  and  was  convicted  of  manslaughter.  The 
jury  brought  in  a  strong  recommendation  for  mercy  and 
Big  Mac  was  sentenced  to  one  year  in  the  county  gaol. 

"  I  remember  one  of  the  spectators  at  Big  Mac's  trial 
was  an  old  man  named  John  Smith,  who  had  passed  his 
seventieth  birthday,  yet  farmed  like  a  youngster  and  lived 
alone  with  a  fifteen-year-old  nephew,  Johnnie,  on  his 
farm  in  the  township  of  Amaranth,  county  of  Dufferin. 
The  old  fellow  was  supposed  to  have  money  and  to  keep 


198     MEMOIRS  OF  A  GREAT  DETECTIVE 

a  snug  sum  hid  in  his  house.  On  Saturday  night,  Janu- 
ary 2 1st,  1882,  while  Big  Mac  was  serving  his  year  in 
gaol,  fire  partly  burned  the  house  of  old  man  Smith. 
The  nephew  ran  to  a  neighbour's  house,  cap  in  hand. 
He  told  the  neighbour  that  as  he  sat  with  his  uncle,  two 
shots  were  fired  through  an  uncurtained  window.  One 
pierced  his  cap,  the  other,  he  thought,  struck  his  uncle, 
who  fell.  Flames  broke  out  and  the  nephew  ran  for 
help. 

"  The  neighbour,  with  others,  went  to  the  Smith  farm- 
house. It  was  partly  burned.  The  old  man  was  found 
on  the  floor,  dead,  with  part  of  one  leg  burned  off.  The 
doctors  laid  the  old  man  out  and  washed  him.  They 
found  no  marks  of  a  wound  on  him  and  no  trace  of  any 
bullet.  I  arrived  in  the  night  and  the  doctors  reported 
no  marks  of  a  wound  on  the  body.  I  got  a  lamp  and 
went  to  the  old  man's  house  with  the  doctors.  He  had 
not  been  coffined,  and  I  went  over  the  body  carefully.  I 
finally  discovered  a  punctured  wound  beneath  the  breast, 
so  located  and  of  such  size  as  to  pass  almost  unnoticed. 
In  fact,  the  doctors  had  failed  to  observe  it.  I  pointed 
it  out.     They  examined  it. 

"  '  Is  that  an  ante-mortem  or  post-mortem  wound  ?  '  I 
asked. 

"  '  Ante-mortem,'  they  agreed. 

"  We  traced  up  the  wound  and  found  the  bullet.  It 
was  such  as  would  fit  a  thirty-two  calibre  revolver.  I 
saw  Mr.  Hannah,  the  hardware  merchant  in  Shelburne, 
the  town  nearest  the  Smith  farmhouse,  and  I  learned  that 
young  Smith,  the  nephew,  had  bought  a  thirty-two  cal- 
ibre Smith  and  Wesson  revolver  at  his  store  shortly  be- 
fore the  mysterious  death  of  old  man  Smith.  The  revolver 
was  not  to  be  found.  I  searched  the  premises  several 
times,  and  finally  I  began  to  drain  the  well.  In  its  bot- 
tom I  came  upon  the  revolver  and  fished  it  out.  Young 
Smith  was  arrested  and  held  for  trial.  He  was  locked  up 
in  the  county  gaol  at  Orangeville,  where  Big  Mac  was 
serving  his  year  for  the  murder  of  Pangman.  The  boy 
was  close  mouthed. 

"  I  had  been  in  Big  Mac's  good  graces  ever  since  I  first 


BIG  MAC  OF  SIMCOE  199 

met  him  in  the  berry  patch  in  Michigan,  with  my  trousers 
in  shreds.  I  instructed  Big  Mac  to  find  out  what  he 
could  from  the  boy.  Mac  made  friends  with  young 
Smith  and  promised  to  take  him  to  Michigan,  and 
eventually  got  the  whole  story  of  the  crime  from  the 
boy.  Young  Smith  was  tried  in  October,  1882.  Big 
Mac  was  a  witness  against  him.  He  went  on  the  stand 
and  told,  under  oath,  the  story  as  the  boy  had  related  it 
to  him.  George  Galbraith  was  attorney  for  the  boy  and 
^milius  Irving,  Crown  attorney,  prosecuted.  Galbraith 
gave  Big  Mac  a  severe  cross-examination  on  the  line  that 
he  was  my  detective.  Some  of  the  gaol  officials  swore 
they  would  not  believe  Big  Mac  under  oath.  The  jury 
brought  in  a  verdict  acquitting  young  Smith.  Later  I 
took  up  the  matter  of  the  conduct  of  some  of  the  gaol 
officials  and  attended  to  it. 

"  Big  Mac  returned  to  Michigan  after  serving  his  year. 
I  kept  the  revolver  for  some  time  that  young  Smith 
bought  shortly  before  his  uncle  was  murdered.  The 
bullet  found  in  his  uncle's  body  fitted  the  cartridge  of  the 
revolver.  I  regarded  that  as  quite  an  interesting  coinci- 
dence.    But  coincidences  occasionally  fail  to  convict. 

"  I  recall  one  case,  about  the  same  time,  that  was  full 
of  more  than  coincidences.  Yet  the  most  powerful  anti- 
dote to  convincing  evidence  was  present  in  the  form  of 
friends  on  the  jury,  and  the  result  was  acquittal.  It  was 
a  crime  that  duplicated  in  marvellous  accuracy  of  detail, 
the  murder  of  old  Abel  McDonald  by  the  Youngs.  It 
occurred  in  1881  and  if  it  had  been  patterned  after  the 
McDonald  tragedy  it  could  not  have  fitted  it  more  pre- 
cisely. 

"  A  team  of  horses  with  a  waggon  and  no  driver  ran 
into  a  stump,  on  the  road  leading  out  of  Barrie  into  the 
farming  country  of  the  county  of  Simcoe,  and  stopped. 
It  was  twilight  on  November  18th.  A  farmer  saw  the 
team  standing  there  and  climbed  into  the  waggon  and 
found  an  old  man  lying  dead,  with  his  head  beaten  in 
with  an  axe  handle.  The  farmer  recognised  him  as 
Thomas  Sleight,  an  old  fellow  of  sixty-six,  who  was  a 
farmer  in  the  township  of  West  Gwillimbury.    The  team, 


200     MEMOIRS  OF  A  GREAT  DETECTIVE 

when  it  stopped,  was  in  the  township  of  Innisfil,  on  the 
road  leading  to  the  township  of  Gwillimbury,  so  the  crime 
became  known  as  the  Innisfil  West  tragedy.  I  took  up 
the  case. 

"  Sleight  had  driven  from  his  farm  to  Barrie  with  a  load 
of  cider  and  potatoes.  He  sold  them  and  started  home 
at  sundown  with  the  cash  in  his  pocket.  I  skirmished 
the  entire  county  for  a  clue  to  the  perpetrator  of  the 
crime.  I  visited  farmhouse  after  farmhouse,  talking  with 
all  the  inmates.  Three  or  four  persons  were  locked  up 
and  released  after  accounting  for  themselves.  Finally, 
near  the  town  of  Bondhead,  I  got  Bill  Nay,  about  twenty- 
six  years  old,  son  of  a  farmer.  Bill  always  was  broke. 
The  day  after  Sleight's  murder  Bill  had  money.  I  ar- 
rested him  and  searched  him  and  found  money  on  him, 
and  Bill,  at  that  time,  was  not  clear  as  to  where  he  got 
all  of  it.  When  the  coroner's  inquest  was  held,  I  had  a 
strong  case  of  circumstantial  evidence  against  him.  The 
inquest  resulted  in  a  verdict  of  murder  against  Bill  and 
he  was  held  for  trial.  I  scoured  the  county  for  evidence. 
I  found  a  little  girl  of  fifteen,  who  saw  Bill  get  into 
old  man  Sleight's  waggon  on  the  way  out  the  Barrie 
road.  I  had  other  witnesses  who  saw  him  coming  away 
along  the  road. 

"  Bill  Nay  was  tried  at  Barrie  at  the  Spring  Assizes  in 
1882.  He  was  defended  by  a  great  lawyer,  an  able  man, 
the  Hon.  Dalton  McCarthy,  of  Barrie,  a  Member  of 
Parliament  and  a  brilliant  advocate.  Colin  Macdougall, 
of  St.  Thomas,  prosecuted.  Judge  Strong  presided  and 
charged  the  jury  strongly  against  Bill  Nay.  There  was 
quite  a  connection  of  Nay's  in  the  county  and  Dalton 
McCarthy  was  a  lawyer  who  knew  the  county  thoroughly 
and  a  man  who  missed  no  opportunities  in  behalf  of  a 
client.  The  jury  was  out  a  long  time.  Bill  Nay  was  on 
the  anxious  seat  in  great  suspense.  But  the  jury  came  in 
with  an  acquittal,  and  Bill  Nay's  friends  reminded  him 
that  Dalton  McCarthy  was  an  able  man  and  that  friends 
on  a  jury  were  like  pearls  beyond  price. 

"  An  interesting  coincidence  of  this  case  is  that  I  heard 
Bill  Nay  was  killed  since.     Big  McCormick,  young  Smith, 


JOHN  DOBBIN  201 

and  Bill  Nay  were  three  vastly  different  individuals.  The 
law  dealt  with  each  of  them  in  its  own  way.  Of  the 
three,  I  like  to  think  of  Big  Mac  rather  than  of  young 
Smith  or,  least  of  all,  Bill  Nay." 


XXXIV 
JOHN  DOBBIN,  FROM  BEYOND  THE  QUICKSANDS 

Wild  Dobbin  was  a  name  given  by  some  to  John 
Dobbin  of  Bracebridge,  when  he  skipped  out  of  the  dis- 
trict of  Muskoka  and  settled  across  the  Red  River  in  the 
western  country,  away  out  in  Manitoba,  seventy  miles 
beyond  Winnipeg.  He  won  the  nickname  by  flying  into 
fits  of  rage  and  chasing  those  near  him  helter-skelter, 
while  he  pursued  with  club  or  gun  or  whatsoever  he  laid 
his  hands  upon.  Dobbin  was  about  fifty  years  old,  five 
feet  nine  inches  tall,  with  a  sandy  beard.  He  was  a  wiry 
fellow  with  an  ungovernable  temper. 

"  The  reason  for  his  skipping  out  of  the  district  of 
Muskoka,"  says  Murray,  "  was  his  treatment  of  John 
Breckenridge,  a  Scotchman,  who  came  from  the  old 
country.  Breckenridge  had  some  money,  but  knew 
nothing  of  farming.  He  went  to  the  District  of  Muskoka 
and  settled  near  Bracebridge.  He  wanted  to  buy  a  farm. 
John  Dobbin  heard  of  it  and  went  to  see  him  and  sold 
him  a  farm.  Breckenridge  paid  Dobbin  part  cash  and 
gave  him  a  note  for  the  balance,  pending  the  arrival  of  a 
remittance  from  the  old  country.  When  the  note  came 
due,  Dobbin  told  Breckenridge  he  had  lost  it,  and  made 
an  affidavit  to  that  effect.  Thereupon  Breckenridge  paid 
him  the  amount  of  the  note.  Dobbin  went  away  and  was 
seen  no  more.  After  he  disappeared  it  transpired  that, 
instead  of  losing  the  note,  he  had  sold  it  to  a  man  who 
gave  it  to  another  man  to  collect,  and  this  man  sued 
Breckenridge  for  the  value  of  the  note  and  got  judgment. 
The  Scotchman  saw  he  had  been  swindled  by  Dobbin, 
and  applied  for  assistance  to  the  Government.  He  was 
directed  to  me. 


202     MEMOIRS  OF  A  GREAT  DETECTIVE 

"  I  went  to  Dobbin's  old  home  at  Bracebridge.  I  could 
find  no  trace  of  him.  I  nosed  around  until  I  learned  that 
his  sister  had  gone  away  some  time  before  and  had 
bought  a  ticket  to  Winnipeg.  Through  a  friend  of  the 
sister  in  Winnipeg  I  learned  that  she  had  gone  to  Morris, 
at  that  time  the  end  of  that  branch  of  the  Canadian  Pacific 
Railroad,  and  at  Morris  she  had  disappeared.  I  got  my 
warrant  and  went  to  Winnipeg.  There  I  got  an  officer, 
Mackenzie,  now  a  private  detective,  and  went  to  Morris, 
where  the  railroad  ended.  I  arrived  in  Morris  on  a 
stifling  hot  day  in  July,  1883.  I  inquired  right  and  left 
for  trace  of  John  Dobbin,  but  no  one  seemed  to  know  of 
him.  I  decided  to  try  the  open  country  beyond  the  Red 
River.  I  walked  for  three  miles  down  the  river,  asking 
at  every  house  if  they  knew  John  Dobbin.  No  one 
knew  him.  After  trudging  another  mile  and  finding  no 
way  to  cross  the  river  I  sat  down  in  the  shade  to  cool. 
The  river  was  not  so  wide  but  you  could  be  heard  on  the 
other  side,  so  while  I  sat  in  the  shade  I  bellowed  at  the 
top  of  my  voice,  at  frequent  intervals.  I  became  inter- 
ested in  the  echoes  and  shouted  lustily.  Then  I  whistled 
and  listened  for  the  echoes  and  finally  I  screeched  and 
roared.     I  was  lying  flat  on  my  back. 

"  Suddenly  I  heard  an  answering  screech.  I  sat  up  and 
looked  across  the  river.  On  the  opposite  bank  stood  a 
woman  screaming  to  know  what  was  the  matter. 

" '  I  want  to  cross  the  river,'  I  shouted. 

" '  How  much  will  you  give  if  I  take  you  over  ?  '  she 
screamed. 

" '  I'll  give  you  $1,'  roared  I. 

"'All  right!  I'll  call  my  man  from  the  field!'  she 
shouted. 

"  I  waited.  She  moved  back  into  a  field  and  presently 
I  saw  a  man  at  the  water's  edge  and  he  pushed  off  in  a 
boat  and  paddled  over.  He  stood  offshore  about  fifteen 
feet  and  I  looked  him  over.  He  was  a  funny  little  French- 
man, burned  almost  black  by  the  sun. 

" '  Give  dollair,'  he  said,  keeping  his  boat  away  from 
the  shore. 

"  I  stood  up,  took  out  a  paper  dollar  and  was  about  to 


JOHN  DOBBIN  203 

walk  down  the  sandy  shore  to  the  water's  edge,  when  he 
let  out  a  terrific  whoop  and  waved  me  back  with  frantic 
flourishes  of  the  paddle. 

"  <  Queeksand  !     Queeksand  ! '  he  yelled. 

"  I  stopped  short  on  the  very  edge  of  a  treacherous  pit 
of  quicksand.  I  tested  it  cautiously  with  one  foot  and 
while  it  looked  like  dry  sand  it  yielded  readily  and  sucked 
in  the  foot  greedily.  The  little  Frenchman  all  the  while 
shrieked  for  me  to  keep  back.  He  would  not  come 
nearer  shore  but  motioned  for  me  to  give  him  the  $1 
first.  I  cut  a  long  stick  from  a  tree  and  fastened  the  $1 
to  an  end  of  the  stick,  then  climbed  out  on  a  limb  of  a 
tree  overhanging  the  water  and  tried  to  hand  the  money 
to  him  in  this  way.  The  limb  bent  and  suddenly  broke 
clean  off  and  down  I  went  in  a  quicksand  by  the  water's 
edge.  I  began  to  sink.  My  ankles  had  disappeared  in 
the  sand  and  my  knees  were  vanishing.  I  had  strug- 
gled to  an  upright  position  as  I  fell.  The  little  French- 
man backed  his  boat  over  near  me,  but  just  beyond  my 
reach. 

" '  Back  in  here  quick  and  let  me  get  hold ! '  I  shouted. 

"  He  smiled  at  me  with  a  sweetness  born  of  the 
angels. 

" '  How  much  you  give  ? '  he  asked. 

"  *  Back  in  here  !  Name  your  price  later  but  give  me 
a  grip  of  the  boat ! '  I  said,  for  I  could  feel  myself  set- 
tling and  I  knew  that  to  struggle  would  involve  me  all 
the  deeper. 

"  My  little  Frenchman  paddled  a  foot  nearer  but  still 
kept  beyond  reach,  even  if  I  had  flung  myself  forward 
with  outstretched  arms. 

" '  How  much  you  give  ? '  he  asked  again,  with  a  voice 
that  seemed  to  tremble  with  divine  pity.  Then,  as  a 
thought  struck  him,  he  added  :  '  You  give  to  me,  not  to 
her,'  and  he  nodded  to  the  woman  who  calmly  waited  on 
the  opposite  shore. 

"  '  Yes,  yes  ! '  I  roared.     '  Back  the  boat  in,  you  fool ! ' 

" '  But  how  much  you  give  ?  '  he  insisted,  holding  him- 
self just  out  of  reach. 

"  Figures  flashed  through  my  head.     A  goodly  sum 


204     MEMOIRS  OF  A  GREAT  DETECTIVE 

trembled  on  the  tip  of  my  tongue.  I  felt  myself  slowly 
settling. 

"  '  Name  your  own  price/  I  said. 

"  The  little  Frenchman  eyed  me  with  sparkling  eyes. 

"  '  It  must  be  one  dollair !     No  less  ! '  he  cried. 

"  You  could  have  knocked  me  down  with  a  feather.  I 
had  been  thinking  of  hundreds. 

"  '  All  right !     Back  in  ! '  I  said. 

" '  But  please  give  it  me/  he  said  sweetly.  '  Give  me 
please  the  dollair  ! ' 

"  I  was  sinking  well  up  to  the  hips  and  beginning  to  set- 
tle fast,  too,  but  I  had  to  go  down  in  my  pocket  and  dig 
up  another  $i,  and  toss  it  out  to  the  little  Frenchman, 
who  had  rescued  the  first  $i  when  the  limb  broke  and  the 
stick  fell  in  the  water.  The  Frenchman  whirled  his  boat 
around  and  shot  the  light  end  in  to  where  I  could  reach 
it.  I  clutched  it  and  kicked  and  heaved  while  the  little 
boatman  paddled  valiantly.  I  came  up  like  a  cork  out  of 
a  bottle  and  the  boat  shot  out  into  the  stream  with  me 
dragging  along  in  the  water  behind  it.  I  clambered  in 
and  the  little  Frenchman,  with  the  perspiration  pouring 
down  his  shining  face,  paused  in  his  paddling  to  take  the 
two  $1  bills  out  of  his  mouth.  He  folded  one  in  a  tiny 
wad  and  tucked  it  into  his  left  ear.  The  other  he  rolled 
in  a  ball  and  as  he  was  about  to  hide  it  in  his  mouth, 
under  his  tongue,  he  smiled  to  me  and  said  : 

"  '  Please,  you  do  not  tell  her/  and  as  if  to  make 
doubly  sure  of  my  good  will  he  added  :  '  if  you  had  not 
been  in  such  hurry  I  would  have  done  it  for  feety  cents 
— maybe.' 

"  I  smiled,  and  he  paddled  us  to  shore.  The  woman 
was  waiting  and  the  little  Frenchman  took  the  $1  out 
of  his  ear  and  gave  it  to  her.  She  shouted  at  him  to 
give  her  what  he  had  in  his  mouth,  but  he  darted  be- 
yond reach  and  defied  her.     I  told  her  I  was  buying  farms. 

"  '  I  understand  a  man  named  Dobbin  lives  near  here 
and  has  a  farm  to  sell/  I  said. 

'"  Buy  ours,'  she  said. 

" '  I'll  buy  a  lot  of  farms,'  said  I.  '  But  I  must  see 
Dobbin's  first.     Where  does  he  live  ?  ' 


JOHN  DOBBIN  205 

" '  The  only  Dobbin  I  know  is  four  miles  back  cutting 
hay,'  she  said. 

" '  Can  your  man  show  me  ? '  I  asked. 

"  The  commercial  instinct  popped  out  again  instantly. 

"  '  For  $1.50/  she  said. 

"  I  paid  her  the  money  then  and  there.  She  shouted 
to  the  little  Frenchman  and  he  nodded,  and  away  we 
started  to  find  the  man  Dobbin,  who  might  or  might  not 
be  my  Dobbin.  The  little  Frenchman  walked  ahead  and 
I  followed.  We  trudged  along  in  the  blazing  sun  for  an 
hour  through  brush  and  across  prairie.  At  last  we  came 
upon  a  man  in  a  field  cutting  beaver  hay. 

"  '  There's  Dobbin,'  said  the  little  Frenchman,  keeping 
aloof,  for  it  seemed  all  thereabouts  feared  Dobbin. 

"  Dobbin  stopped  mowing  as  we  drew  near.  He 
was  dripping  wet  and  his  face  was  crimson  from  his 
labour. 

" '  Are  you  John  Dobbin  who  lived  near  Brace- 
bridge  ? '  I  asked,  while  the  little  Frenchman  listened 
intently. 

"  '  Yes,  why  ? '  said  Dobbin. 

"  '  Dobbin,'  said  I,  '  I  have  a  warrant  for  your  arrest.' 

"  '  Arrest  me ! '  exclaimed  Dobbin,  and  then  slowly  he 
turned  on  the  little  Frenchman.  '  And  you  brought  him 
here  to  arrest  me  ?     You  French ! ' 

"  With  a  roar  of  rage  Dobbin  went  after  the  little 
Frenchman  with  the  scythe.  With  a  shriek  of  terror  the 
little  Frenchman  sped  away,  Dobbin  in  hot  pursuit  and  I 
after  Dobbin.  As  the  little  Frenchman  ran  he  squealed 
with  fright,  and  as  Dobbin  ran  he  bellowed  in  fury.  I 
began  to  laugh.  The  ludicrous  side  of  it  struck  me. 
There  scooted  my  little  Frenchman  like  a  rabbit,  bound- 
ing over  ditch  and  bush,  while  Dobbin  thundered  after 
him  like  a  savage  hound  or  an  avenging  demon.  They 
ran  until  Dobbin  dropped  the  scythe  and  settled  down 
into  steady  chase.  I  trailed  along  for  I  saw  that  the  little 
Frenchman  was  heading  for  the  river.  The  terrific  pace 
was  telling  on  both  of  them,  and  their  gait  fell  bit  by  bit 
until  it  was  a  lagging  trot,  then  a  walk,  then  a  stagger. 
And  so  they  trotted  on,  not   twenty  feet   apart,  both 


206     MEMOIRS  OF  A  GREAT  DETECTIVE 

gasping  and  well-nigh  exhausted,  the  Frenchman  unable 
to  go  forward  and  Dobbin  unable  to  overtake  him. 
They  ran  themselves  to  a  standstill.  I  came  up  and 
caught  Dobbin  and  started  him  back  towards  his  house, 
which  was  beyond  the  field  where  he  had  been  mowing. 
I  heard  the  little  Frenchman  crying  after  me  piteously. 
I  turned  back  to  see  if  he  were  hurt. 

"  '  The  dollair  ! '  he  lamented.  '  I  did  swallow  it ! '  and 
his  grief  burst  forth  afresh. 

"  As  I  started  away  he  cried  after  me :  «  Think,  oh 
think !  The  queeksand !  I  save  you !  I  do  eat  the 
dollair !     Give  to  me  a  dollair  ! ' 

"  Dobbin,  furious  as  he  was,  laughed  scornfully  back 
at  the  little  Frenchman. 

"  Dobbin's  wife  was  out  when  we  arrived  at  his  house, 
but  she  came  in  presently  with  her  sister.  She  was  a 
terror.  The  moment  she  spied  the  handcuffs  on  her  hus- 
band she  made  a  break  for  the  wood-pile  and  the  axe. 
The  sister  ran  down  in  the  cellar.  Dobbin  and  I  were 
in  the  kitchen,  he  on  a  chair  in  one  corner  and  I  on  a 
chair  in  another  corner.  In  a  moment  in  marched  Mrs. 
Dobbin,  axe  in  hand,  and  up  from  the  cellar  came  the 
sister  with  a  cleaver. 

" '  What  does  this  mean  ? '  said  Mrs.  Dobbin  to  me. 
'  Explain  yourself,  or  I'll  chop  you  into  mince-meat.' 

"  She  was  the  kind  of  woman  who  could  have  made 
first-class  mince-meat  out  of  a  man.  I  carefully  changed 
my  revolver  to  my  left  hand,  and  began  to  reason  with 
her.  But  it  seemed  there  was  to  be  no  such  thing  as 
reason.  She  advanced  towards  me  with  the  axe.  I 
drew  a  second  gun. 

" '  Dobbin,'  I  said,  '  call  off  your  wife.  I  dislike  to 
shoot  a  woman.  I  can  arrest  her  and  take  her  to  Win- 
nipeg and  lock  her  up  and  send  her  to  prison.  She's  a 
fool.' 

"  The  woman  stopped  in  the  middle  of  the  kitchen 
floor.  There  she  stood,  axe  in  hand,  while  her  sister 
guarded  the  door  with  the  cleaver.  It  was  twilight,  and 
darkness  came.  I  could  discern  the  three  figures  as  they 
stood.     A  clock  struck  nine. 


JOHN  DOBBIN  207 

"  '  Time's  up,'  I  said,  rising.     '  Strike  a  light ! ' 

"  There  was  silence.     I  turned  to  Dobbin. 

" '  I've  had  enough  of  this,'  I  said.  '  Axe  or  no  axe, 
woman  or  no  woman,  this  stops  now.     Call  her  off.' 

"  Mrs.  Dobbin  burst  into  furious  ragings. 

" '  I'll  die  before  Dobbin  crosses  the  Red  River  to- 
night,' she  shouted. 

" '  I'll  take  him,  you,  and  your  sister,'  I  replied ;  and  I 
advanced,  preparing  to  dodge  the  axe  and  seize  it. 

"  She  raised  the  axe  and  planted  herself  to  strike.  I 
stepped  forward,  and  with  my  left  hand  holding  a  revol- 
ver and  my  right  hand  free,  I  feinted  to  draw  her  blow. 
Dobbin,  who  had  watched  it  all,  saw  the  beginning  of 
the  end,  and  stood  up  and  called  his  wife  aside  and  tried 
to  pacify  her.  The  sister  sought  to  slip  outdoors,  but  I 
called  her  in,  mindful  of  men  who  had  been  shot  in  the 
darkness  through  an  open  window. 

" '  Be  quick,'  I  said  to  Dobbin.  '  I've  dallied  too  long. 
I'll  get  a  boat  three  miles  up  the  river.' 

" '  I  own  a  boat  on  the  river,'  said  Dobbin  sullenly. 

" '  It's  mine,  not  yours,'  said  Mrs.  Dobbin. 

"  I  thought  of  the  commercial  instinct. 

"  '  You  can  make  some  money  out  of  your  boat,'  I  said 
to  her.  '  Dobbin  must  go  over  the  river  with  me.  Some 
one  will  make  the  money.' 

" '  What  will  you  pay  ?  '  she  asked. 

" '  I'll  give  you  a  dollar,'  I  said. 

"  I  dropped  four  silver  quarters  on  the  kitchen  floor, 
one  by  one.  She  leaped  for  a  candle,  lighted  it,  and 
gazed  at  the  money. 

"  «  Who  will  bring  the  boat  back  ? '  she  asked. 

" '  You  can  send  for  it,'  said  I. 

"  She  thought  it  over. 

"  «  For  $1.50  I'll  do  it,'  she  said. 

"  I  dropped  two  more  quarters  on  the  floor.  She 
clutched  them  eagerly,  and  the  woman  who  was  going 
to  die  before  Dobbin  should  cross  the  river — and  meant 
it,  too — capitulated  for  six  quarters  shining  in  the  candle- 
light on  her  kitchen  floor.  Truly,  the  power  of  money 
is  magical  at  times. 


208     MEMOIRS  OF  A  GREAT  DETECTIVE 

"  I  took  Dobbin  away  in  the  night,  and  we  crossed 
the  river  and  hired  a  team  and  driver  at  Morris  and 
drove  the  seventy  miles  to  Winnipeg,  getting  a  midnight 
meal  on  the  way.  Dobbin  kicked  in  Winnipeg.  He 
employed  a  lawyer,  the  famous  Fighting  Mackenzie. 
This  lawyer  took  Dobbin  before  Chief  Justice  Walbridge 
on  a  writ  of  habeas  corpus.  I  employed  the  present 
Judge  McMahon  to  fight  the  writ.  The  Chief  Justice 
dismissed  the  writ,  and  ordered  the  prisoner  into  my 
custody.  I  started  back  with  Dobbin.  I  had  to  take 
him  by  way  of  the  Sault  Ste.  Marie  Canal,  and  the  boat 
went  through  the  American  side.  Fighting  Mackenzie 
told  Dobbin  to  keep  quiet  until  the  boat  was  in  the  Soo  ; 
then  to  yell  and  demand  protection,  and  he  would  tele- 
graph the  American  sheriff  to  be  there  and  compel  me 
to  liberate  Dobbin,  as  I  had  no  papers  authorising  me  to 
hold  him  in  American  territory. 

"  Dobbin  and  I  embarked  on  the  steamer  Campana  at 
Port  William,  which  at  that  time  was  Port  Arthur.  Cap- 
tain Anderson,  now  of  the  steamer  Manitoba,  was  her 
commander.  I  got  a  hint  of  the  job  put  up  to  save 
Dobbin  in  the  Soo.  I  knew  everybody  aboardship. 
The  crew  and  officers  all  were  my  friends.  I  said  to 
Captain  Anderson :  '  Before  we  get  to  Sault  Ste.  Marie, 
land  me  with  Dobbin  in  a  small  boat  above  the  rapids, 
and  I'll  pull  for  the  Canadian  shore.'    I  told  him  of  the  job. 

"  '  I  know  the  sheriff  myself,'  said  Captain  Anderson, 
'  and  instead  of  risking  it  in  a  small  boat  above  the 
rapids,  I'll  put  Dobbin  in  the  hold  and  shut  the  hatches 
before  we  get  to  the  American  side.' 

"  John  Burns  of  Toronto  was  steward  of  the  boat. 
Captain  Anderson  and  Burns  and  I  talked  it  over,  and 
the  captain  selected  a  room  on  the  port  side  farthest 
from  the  American  shore,  and  told  me  to  get  Dobbin  in 
there  and  Burns  would  lock  the  door. 

"  ■  He  can  yell  like  a  Comanche  in  there  and  no  one 
will  hear  him,'  said  Captain  Anderson. 

"  Dobbin  was  all  primed  for  the  job.  As  we  drew  near 
the  locks  he  even  cleared  his  throat  for  the  yells  that  he 
was  to  pour  forth.     The  steward  came  to  me. 


JOHN  DOBBIN  209 

"  '  Mr.  Murray,'  he  said, '  would  you  like  a  little  good 
whiskey  ? ' 

"  '  Yes,  indeed,'  said  I.     '  Dobbin,  want  a  drink  ?  ' 

"  Dobbin  smacked  his  lips.  He  had  time,  before  the 
boat  entered  the  locks. 

«  '  Why,  yes,'  he  said. 

*'  We  went  down  to  the  room.  It  was  a  little  cubby- 
hole of  a  place  with  no  window  or  outlet  but  a  little 
port-hole.  A  decanter  of  whiskey  and  glasses  were  on 
the  table.  We  went  in.  The  steward  stepped  out  and 
slammed  the  door. 

"  '  What  did  he  shut  the  door  for  ? '  asked  Dobbin, 
with  sudden  suspicion. 

"  I  eyed  him. 

"  *  Why  don't  you  holler,  Dobbin  ?  '  said  I. 

"  He  glared  at  me.  I  could  see  the  crimson  dye  his 
face,  the  veins  swell,  the  eyes  grow  small,  as  his  temper 
rose.  He  grabbed  the  decanter.  I  flipped  out  my  re- 
volver. We  stood  face  to  face  with  the  little  table  be- 
tween us.     I  eyed  him,  look  for  look. 

"  '  Take  a  good  drink,  Dobbin,'  I  said. 

"  The  boat  was  in  the  locks.     Dobbin  drank. 

« <  Why  don't  you  holler  ? '  I  said. 

"  He  looked  at  me,  at  the  locked  door,  at  the  port- 
hole ;  then  he  sank  into  a  chair. 

"  «  Murray,  I've  lost  my  voice,'  said  Dobbin. 

"  He  sat  with  eyes  closed  for  an  hour  or  more.  When 
we  were  through  the  locks  and  out  into  Canada  waters 
and  away  from  shore,  the  steward  unlocked  the  door  and 
said  : 

"  '  Dinner,  gentlemen  ! ' 

"  Dobbin  awoke,  as  if  from  a  dream. 

"  '  I'm  hungry  as  hell,'  he  said,  and  went  in  to  dinner. 

"  We  landed  in  Collingwood,  and  went  to  Barrie, 
where,  on  August  13th,  1883,  I  turned  Dobbin  over  to 
the  authorities.  As  I  bade  him  good-bye,  he  said :  «  Just 
wait  till  I  get  back  to  Red  River  and  meet  that  French- 
man !  '  At  times,  when  weird  noises  sound  in  the 
night,  I  think  of  Dobbin,  and  wonder  if  he  has  caught 
the  little  Frenchman  at  last." 


210     MEMOIRS  OF  A  GREAT  DETECTIVE 

XXXV 
LUKE  PHIPPS,  WHO  BURIED  HIMSELF  ALIVE 

Sandwich  gaol,  three  miles  from  Windsor,  was  re- 
garded by  many  American  crooks  in  the  early  eighties 
as  a  vestibule  to  Kingston  Penitentiary.  If  a  lawbreaker 
landed  in  Sandwich  he  was  apt  to  end  in  Kingston.  The 
result  was  constant  attempts  on  the  part  of  prisoners  to 
break  gaol.  In  1884  among  those  locked  up  in  Sand- 
wich awaiting  trial  were  Luke  Phipps,  a  wife  murderer, 
and  Bucky  Greenfield,  a  professional  thief.  Neither 
knew  the  other  until  they  met  in  Sandwich  gaol.  A 
mysterious  female  visited  Bucky  Greenfield,  and  for  ten 
days  after  her  call  Bucky  kept  close  in  his  cell.  His 
friendship  for  Phipps  had  sprung  up  after  a  sight  of  the 
young  fellow.     Bucky  pitied  him. 

Phipps  began  to  whistle  at  night.  No  one  objected, 
although  for  hours  at  a  time  he  would  whistle  furiously 
and  occasionally  would  sing  in  a  loud  voice.  During  these 
nocturnal  concerts  Bucky  Greenfield  was  busy  in  his  cell. 
He  had  hacked  a  file  out  of  a  woman's  corset  steel  and 
was  sawing  the  bars  of  the  window  of  his  cell.  At  last  the 
bars  were  cut  through.  That  night  Bucky  tapped  Phipps 
on  the  shoulder  in  silence  and  they  slipped  out.  Phipps 
stuck  in  the  window  overlooking  the  wall.  Bucky  tried 
to  extricate  him,  but  he  was  caught  fast,  so  Bucky  fled 
alone.  Phipps  wrestled  and  struggled  in  the  window,  and 
finally  tore  himself  free  with  a  wrench  so  powerful  that 
the  momentum  threw  him  over  the  wall,  and  he  fell 
heavily  to  the  ground.  There  he  lay  for  some  time, 
severely  hurt  and  half  conscious.  He  was  aroused  by 
hearing  voices  in  the  gaol.  He  dragged  himself  away, 
hunting  for  a  hiding-place.  He  came  to  a  graveyard, 
and  as  he  crawled  along  in  the  darkness  he  fell  head 
foremost  into  a  newly  dug  grave.  The  bottom  of  the 
grave  was  covered  with  hay  that  broke  the  force  of  his 
fall.  He  stretched  out  like  an  uncoffined  corpse  in  the 
grave,  pulled  the  hay  over  him  and  waited.  He  heard 
the  barking  of  the  dogs  and  the  galloping  of  horses  and 


LUKE  PHIPPS,  BURIED  HIMSELF  ALIVE    211 

the  voices  of  men  as  they  searched  for  trace  of  the 
fugitives.  He  could  see  nothing  but  the  night  sky  and 
the  sparkling  stars,  through  a  screen  of  hay.  Voices 
came  nearer.  He  could  hear  the  tread  of  feet  and  the 
sniff  of  hounds.  Men  paused  by  the  grave,  and  he 
heard  one  instruct  the  others  to  shoot  him  on  sight  if  he 
resisted  or  fled.  The  light  of  a  lantern  fell  across  the 
grave.  One  of  the  men  held  it  over  the  hole  and 
peered  in,  while  the  dogs  looked  over  the  edge  and 
whined. 

"  Nothing  but  hay  for  coffin  bedding,"  said  the  man 
with  the  lantern,  and  gradually  the  footsteps  and  voices 
died  away. 

Phipps  lay  still  until  he  thought  the  last  of  them  had 
gone.  Then  he  moved  slightly  to  ease  his  position,  for 
he  was  fast  growing  numb  and  his  injuries  pained 
severely.  He  half  sat  up,  when  over  the  edge  of  the 
grave  was  thrust  a  head  with  shining  eyes  and  lolling 
tongue.  There  was  a  rattle  of  earth,  and  then  a  loud, 
long  howl.  One  dog  had  lingered  and  he  gave  the 
alarm.  Back  came  the  other  dogs  with  a  rush  and  hung 
over  the  grave  barking  excitedly.  Phipps  sank  back 
beneath  the  hay.  The  men  returned  with  the  lantern 
and  looked  down  into  the  grave.  Phipps  could  see  their 
features  in  the  yellow  light. 

"  Nothing  there,  I  tell  you,"  said  the  man  with  the 
lantern. 

"  Jump  in  and  see,"  said  one  of  the  others. 

"  Not  I,"  quoth  the  lantern  bearer  with  a  shiver  and  a 
laugh.     "  'Tis  a  sign  of  death  to  enter  an  open  grave." 

Phipps  heard  the  rattle  of  earth  again,  and  one  of  the 
three  men  stood  over  the  grave  with  a  huge  clod. 

"  I'll  make  sure,"  he  said,  and  dropped  the  clod  into 
the  grave. 

It  struck  Phipps  a  glancing  blow  on  the  head.  He 
lost  consciousness.  When  he  came  to,  it  was  bright  day- 
light overhead,  and  he  lay  numbed  and  stiff  beneath  the 
hay  in -the  grave.  His  head  felt  as  big  as  a  wash-tub  and 
his  legs  were  as  heavy  as  two  water-soaked  logs.  His 
hands  were  swollen,  and  the  blood  from  the  wound  in  his 


212     MEMOIRS  OF  A  GREAT  DETECTIVE 

head  had  dyed  his  face  and  shoulders.  It  was  a  raw, 
bleak  day.  He  judged  it  must  be  noon.  He  heard  a 
bell  tolling  in  the  distance.  He  wondered  if  Bucky 
Greenfield  had  been  killed.  A  long  silence  followed. 
Then  he  heard  the  crunch  of  carriage  wheels  and  the 
even,  measured  tread  of  slowly  marching  feet.  Nearer 
they  came  and  still  nearer,  then  stopped  seemingly  at  the 
brink  of  the  grave.  He  heard  muffled  voices  in  subdued 
tones.  He  heard  the  rumble  and  roll  as  of  a  coffin  slid 
out  of  a  hearse.  A  woman  sobbed.  Then  a  calm,  even 
voice  was  lifted  up,  and  Phipps  could  hear  a  prayer  for 
the  sorrowing  and  desolate.  After  the  amen  there  was 
a  silence  so  deep  that  the  man  in  the  grave  could  hear 
the  broken  murmurs  of  those  who  wept.  A  hymn  was 
sung,  "  Asleep  in  Jesus,"  and  Phipps  drowsily  listened  to 
the  music  of  the  "  Blessed  Sleep."  The  singing  ceased ; 
there  was  a  sound  of  creaking  straps,  of  a  box  bumping 
against  solid  earth.  He  shut  his  eyes  and  waited  for  the 
coffin  to  settle  upon  him.  He  heard  the  solemn  "  Dust 
to  dust,  ashes  to  ashes,"  and  in  his  heart  throbbed  a  feel- 
ing of  gratitude  that,  at  the  last,  he  should  come  to  know 
a  Christian  burial  with  sorrowing  people  around  his 
grave.  He  felt  a  rush  of  thankfulness  to  the  corpse  in 
the  coffin,  who  had  shared  the  farewell  to  loved  ones 
with  him.  He  lay  very  still,  with  closed  eyes  and  rigid 
body.  The  bumping  and  the  creaking  ceased.  There 
was  a  rattle  of  clods  thumping  on  the  box.  He  heard  it 
faintly,  as  if  it  were  far  away.  He  felt  no  weight  and 
seemed  to  bear  no  burden.  He  heard  the  carriages  de- 
part, the  footsteps  die  away.  He  heard  shovels  grind 
into  the  earth  and  dimly  he  heard  the  bump  and  thud  as 
the  grave  was  filled.  After  all,  death  was  a  sleep,  he 
thought,  and  he  seemed  to  be  sinking,  sinking,  sinking, 
on  to  a  downy  couch,  as  if  he  were  whirling  away  into 
space  on  a  cushion  of  clouds.  He  wished  they  would 
sing  again  about  the  blessed  sleep.  So  wishing,  he 
slept. 

He  awoke  with  a  start  and  opened  his  eyes.  It  was 
pitch  dark.  He  tried  to  move.  His  body  seemed  para- 
lysed.    He  remembered  with  a  rush  of  recollection  the 


LUKE  PHIPPS,  BURIED  HIMSELF  ALIVE    213 

burial  and  the  prayer  and  the  singing.  He  moved  his 
head  and  looked  up  through  the  hay.  The  stars  were 
shining !  He  sat  up  slowly,  feebly,  and  with  great  pain. 
Where  was  the  coffin  ?  Where  were  the  six  feet  of 
earth  ?  He  tottered  to  his  feet.  The  grave  was  empty. 
He  felt  its  chilly  sides  and  the  bed  of  hay.  He  laughed 
a  weak,  maniacal  laugh.  Perhaps  the  resurrection  had 
come  and  they  had  overlooked  him,  hid  beneath  the  hay, 
and  he  was  left  alone  on  earth,  with  all  other  souls  gone 
to  their  judgment.  He  tried  to  clamber  out.  He  fell 
back  exhausted.  He  rested  and  tried  again.  It  was  an 
hour's  task  to  rise  from  the  grave.  When,  at  last,  he  was 
out,  he  sat  on  its  edge  in  the  moonlight  and  laughed  to 
the  stars.  Close  beside  the  open  grave  was  a  new-made 
mound.  The  burial  he  had  heard  was  in  the  grave  ad- 
joining that  in  which  he  lay. 

The  murderer  stood  up  and  laughed  like  a  little  child. 
Then,  in  the  moonlight,  he  saw  the  Sandwich  gaol  loom- 
ing, like  a  gigantic  shadow.  He  remembered  then  that 
it  was  not  the  resurrection,  but  the  life.  He  staggered 
away  from  the  grave  that  had  hid  him.  On  the  new- 
made  mound  stood  a  vase  of  flowers.  He  plucked  one 
and  dropped  it  in  the  empty  grave,  then  crept  away  out 
of  the  cemetery,  across  the  road,  through  the  fields,  trav- 
elling like  an  injured  dog,  limping  on  all  fours.  He  was 
hunting  for  the  river.  He  came  to  it  in  the  hour  after 
midnight  and  found  an  old  boat  half  full  of  water.  He 
came  upon  a  piece  of  board,  crawled  into  the  boat,  shoved 
off  and  began  to  paddle.  Hours  later,  as  dawn  was 
breaking,  he  found  himself  on  the  American  shore,  be- 
low Detroit,  nine  miles  down  stream,  wet  to  the  skin, 
blood-stained,  wounded  and  faint.  But  he  knew  the 
country  round  about,  and  made  his  way  into  the  city  to 
the  house  of  a  friend,  knocked  and  was  taken  in,  clothed 
and  fed.  When  his  wounds  healed  he  started  out  into  a 
new  life. 

"  I  was  instructed  to  find  Phipps,"  says  Murray.  "  I 
had  known  him  in  Detroit  where  he  kept  a  billiard-room 
and  lived  on  Jefferson  Avenue.  He  was  a  nice  fellow ; 
quiet,   peaceable,  about  thirty-four  years  old,  with  fair, 


214     MEMOIRS  OF  A  GREAT  DETECTIVE 

brown  hair  and  sandy  moustache.  He  was  married,  and 
had  a  very  pretty  little  wife  and  two  children,  a  boy  and 
a  girl.  He  loved  his  family  dearly.  In  the  latter  part 
of  March,  1884,  Phipps  discovered  his  wife  made  frequent 
trips  across  the  river  to  Windsor.  On  one  occasion  he 
followed  her  aboard  the  ferry-boat.  He  had  been  drink- 
ing. She  was  unaware  of  his  presence  on  the  boat  until 
he  confronted  her  and  accused  her  of  infidelity.  She 
gave  him  a  harsh  answer,  and  he  whipped  out  a  revolver 
and  shot  and  killed  her  on  the  boat.  Many  passengers 
saw  the  murder.  When  the  boat  landed  at  Windsor, 
Phipps  was  arrested  and  taken  to  Sandwich  gaol,  three 
miles  from  Windsor,  and  was  committed  for  trial.  WThile 
waiting  in  Sandwich  gaol  for  trial  he  escaped  with  Bucky 
Greenfield,  hid  in  a  grave  a  night  and  a  day,  crossed  the 
river  the  second  night  and  got  to  Detroit,  where  he  hid 
with  friends,  who  supplied  him  with  money  and  clothes 
and  started  him  out  anew. 

"  I  sent  his  description  all  over  the  country.  He  was 
a  billiard-room  keeper,  and  I  judged  it  was  simply  a  ques- 
tion of  time  until  his  money  gave  out,  and  he  would  look 
for  a  job  in  a  billiard-room.  Every  man  to  his  trade  is 
true  also  of  fugitives  from  justice.  My  surmise  was  cor- 
rect. Phipps  turned  up  in  Pullman,  Illinois,  and  obtained 
a  job  in  a  billiard-room  there.  I  located  him  through 
detectives  and  inquiries,  and  prepared  my  papers  and 
went  to  Illinois,  and  took  Phipps  from  Pullman  to  Chi- 
cago. There  he  employed  Jesse  Ball,  an  able  lawyer, 
and  made  a  desperate  fight  against  extradition.  His 
counsel  endeavoured  to  show  the  shooting  was  done  in 
American  waters.  There  is  no  hanging  in  Michigan.  If 
the  crime  had  been  committed  in  American  waters,  Phipps 
would  have  been  tried  in  Michigan,  and,  if  convicted,  he 
would  not  have  been  hanged.  I  proved  by  the  captain 
of  the  boat  and  a  number  of  its  passengers  that  the  shoot- 
ing was  done  in  Canada  waters  on  the  Canada  side  of  the 
river.  The  legal  fight  lasted  a  number  of  days.  Both 
sides  called  witnesses.  Phipps  lost.  An  appeal  was 
taken  and  a  writ  of  habeas  corpus  was  issued,  but  this 
proceeding  was  dismissed. 


LUKE  PHIPPS,  BURIED  HIMSELF  ALIVE    215 

"  I  started  back  to  Canada  with  Phipps  on  April  1  ith. 
When  I  met  him  in  the  Chicago  gaol  to  take  him  back, 
he  raised  his  hands. 

"  <  What  is  it?'   I  asked. 

"  '  Aren't  you  going  to  handcuff  me  ?  '  he  said. 

"  '  Not  you,  Phipps,'  said  I. 

"  He  thanked  me.  We  stopped  on  the  way  to  the  sta- 
tion for  cigars  and  the  like,  went  aboard  the  Pullman  car, 
and  started.  At  Ann  Arbor,  and  other  points,  newspa- 
per men  boarded  the  train  in  search  of  me  to  get  a  talk 
with  Phipps.  The  prominence  of  the  case  in  the  papers 
made  Phipps  a  figure  of  interest,  and  it  was  known  we 
were  aboard  the  train,  At  one  station  one  of  the  news- 
paper men  politely  asked  me : 

"  '  Pardon  me,  are  you  Luke  Phipps,  the  wife  mur- 
derer ? ' 

"  I  said  I  was  happy  to  say  I  was  not. 

"  At  Ann  Arbor  two  of  the  newspaper  men,  after  going 
through  the  car,  stopped  in  front  of  Phipps  and  whispered 
to  him,  as  they  nodded  towards  a  well-known  Detroit  min- 
ister who  was  snoozing  in  a  corner  of  the  car : 

"  '  Is  that  murderer  Phipps  ? ' 

"  Phipps  laughed  over  it  later,  although  the  word  mur- 
derer shook  him  at  the  time.  These  incidents  of  mis- 
taken identity  occurred  all  along  the  road.  At  Detroit  a 
couple  of  hundred  of  his  friends  were  at  the  station  to  see 
him.  Phipps  stepped  off  the  car  carrying  my  grip. 
Chief  Bains,  of  Windsor,  was  there  with  a  cab. 

" '  I'll  see  you  fellows  at  the  Michigan  Exchange/  said 
Phipps,  and  we  drove  there  on  our  way  to  Canada.  '  I 
want  a  good-bye  drink,'  said  Phipps,  as  we  went  in. 

"  A  great  many  of  his  friends  gathered  there  to  see 
him.     They  all  were  full  of  expressions  of  sorrow. 

"  '  Yes,  I'm  sorry,  too/  said  I ;  '  but  what  Phipps  needs 
for  his  defence  is  money/  and  I  started  the  thing  and 
everybody  chipped  in. 

"  Phipps  shook  hands  with  all  of  them.  I  asked  him 
if  there  was  any  other  place  to  which  he  wanted  to  go. 

" '  I'd  like  to  drive  past  the  old  home  in  Jefferson 
Avenue,  Mr.  Murray/  he  said,  with  a  gulp. 


216     MEMOIRS  OF  A  GREAT  DETECTIVE 

"  I  have  been  glad  many  times  since  that  I  drove  him 
past  his  old  home.  He  looked  at  it  out  of  the  carriage 
window,  and  then  through  the  little  window  in  the  back, 
until  he  could  see  it  no  longer. 

"  '  I'm  ready  to  go  now,'  he  said. 

"  We  drove  over  to  Sandwich  gaol,  and  I  left  him  there. 
He  was  tried  at  the  Fall  Assizes.  Sol  White,  a  member 
of  the  Provincial  Parliament,  defended  him.  He  was 
found  guilty,  and  was  sentenced  to  be  hanged.  He  was 
hanged  in  Sandwich  gaol  in  November,  and  the  earth, 
near  the  cemetery  where  he  once  had  hid  in  a  grave, 
opened  for  him,  and  he  was  laid  to  rest  to  cross  another 
river  when  he  should  rise  from  this  second  grave. 

"  I  regretted  it.  I  thought  there  were  some  extenuat- 
ing circumstances.  His  escape  from  the  goal  weighed 
against  him.  Moreover,  the  episode  of  Billy  Callaghan 
in  Sandwich  gaol  had  much  to  do  with  influencing  public 
opinion  in  the  county  of  Essex  at  the  time  of  the  Phipps 
trial.  Bucky  Greenfield  escaped  to  Mexico,  and  we  had 
no  extradition  treaty  with  Mexico  at  that  time  to  cover 
his  case,  and  later  he  vanished.  He  meant  well  by 
Phipps,  but  it  would  have  been  better  for  Luke  if  he  had 
not  escaped.  Between  Bucky  Greenfield  and  Billy 
Callaghan,  Phipps's  fate  was  sealed. 

"  Callaghan  belonged  to  Detroit.  He  came  of  a  re- 
spectable family,  and  in  his  younger  days  he  was  a  clerk 
in  a  dry-goods  store,  but  finally  turned  out  to  be  a  pro- 
fessional burglar  and  desperate  crook.  At  this  time  he 
was  about  twenty-eight  years  old,  short,  stout,  and 
swarthy.  Billy  and  another  crook  named  Kennedy  were 
gaoled  in  Sandwich  for  burglary.  On  March  16th  they 
made  a  dash  for  liberty.  George  O'Callaghan  Leech,  the 
old  governor  of  the  gaol,  endeavoured  to  intercept  Billy, 
who  pulled  a  revolver,  which  had  been  smuggled  into  his 
cell,  and  shot  and  killed  O'Callaghan  Leech,  and  got 
away  with  Kennedy.  The  people  of  the  county  of 
Essex  were  up  in  arms.  They  searched  the  county  for 
trace  of  the  fugitives.     Callaghan  got  out  of  the  country. 

"  Kennedy  was  caught,  and  sent  to  Kingston  Peniten- 
tiary for  seven  years.     While  in   Kingston  he  became 


LUKE  PHIPPS,  BURIED  HIMSELF  ALIVE    217 

pals  with  Blinky  Morgan.  I  had  spotted  Blinky  in  To- 
ronto in  July  of  the  year  before.  I  was  on  my  way  to 
the  train  for  Winnipeg  after  Dobbin,  and  had  stopped  in 
the  Rosslin  House  barber's  shop.  In  the  chair  next  to 
mine  sat  Blinky.  I  had  not  seen  him  for  years,  but  I 
knew  him  the  moment  I  glanced  his  way.  He  got  out 
of  the  chair  before  I  did,  and  went  to  the  Shakespeare 
Hotel.  I  left  word  to  tell  the  police  he  was  there.  The 
day  after  I  arrived  in  Winnipeg,  I  learned  that  Blinky 
had  shot  and  killed  a  porter  named  Marooney  in  the 
Walker  House  on  York  Street.  Detective  Cuddy  pur- 
sued Blinky,  who  shot  twice  at  him,  one  bullet  piercing 
his  tunic.  Cuddy  bravely  stuck  to  the  chase,  and  cap- 
tured Blinky.  Blinky 's  trial  was  before  Judge  Sir  Thomas 
Gait,  who  thought  the  murder  was  not  premeditated,  and 
cautioned  the  jury,  and  it  brought  in  a  verdict  of  man- 
slaughter. Blinky,  instead  of  getting  a  life  sentence,  got 
only  five  years  in  Kingston. 

"  Kennedy  and  Blinky,  after  becoming  pals,  broke  out 
of  Kingston  Penitentiary.  Morgan  was  traced  to  Reno, 
Ohio,  by  Detective  Hoolihan  and  others,  and  in  the  fight 
that  occurred  Blinky  killed  Hoolihan  and  escaped. 
Later  he  was  run  down  in  Alpena,  Michigan,  where  he 
shot  the  sheriff  and  wounded  another  man.  He  was 
captured  and  taken  to  Cleveland  and  hanged.  Kennedy 
got  away. 

"  Callaghan,  meanwhile,  had  disappeared  completely 
after  killing  Governor  O'Callaghan  Leech,  of  Sandwich 
gaol.  I  sent  out  circulars  offering  a  $500  reward.  No 
answer  came  until  December,  1884,  when  the  police  of 
Hannibal,  Missouri,  telegraphed  to  me : 

" '  Come  at  once.  Callaghan  in  gaol ;  acknowledges 
identity.' 

"  I  was  up  north  on  a  case  at  the  time,  and  I  wired 
back  :  '  Will  come ;  but  I  do  not  believe  it  is  Callaghan. 
He  would  not  acknowledge  identity.' 

"  I  prepared  the  necessary  extradition  papers,  and  was 
instructed  to  go  to  Hannibal,  Missouri.  I  went  by  way 
of  Windsor,  and  took  with  me  Turnkey  Smith,  of  Sand- 
wich  gaol,   who   knew    Callaghan  well.     We  arrived  in 


2i 8     MEMOIRS  OF  A  GREAT  DETECTIVE 

Hannibal  on  the  evening  of  December  16th,  and  went  at 
once  to  the  gaol.  It  was  the  roughest  gaol,  with  the 
hardest-looking  lot  of  pills  in  it  that  I  had  ever  seen. 
We  were  told  by  the  police  that  two  crooks,  known  as 
Joe  Rice  and  John  Carr,  had  burglarised  Banker  Patter- 
son's house  in  Barry,  Illinois,  stealing  his  gold-mounted 
revolver,  and  making  him  get  up  out  of  bed  and  open 
the  safe  and  turn  over  its  contents.  They  had  been 
caught  in  Hannibal,  and  Rice  had  the  stolen  revolver. 
On  their  way  to  gaol  Rice  whispered  with  Carr,  and  in 
the  gaol  he  had  said  to  a  fellow  prisoner, '  I  wonder  if 
these  cops  have  stumbled  on  to  who  I  am.  They  offer  a 
reward  for  me  in  Canada.'  The  prisoner  told  Detective 
Sesnor,  who  questioned  Rice,  and  Rice  confessed  he  was 
Bill  Callaghan.     Then  they  telegraphed  to  me. 

"  I  was  shown  to  the  cell  of  the  self-confessed  Bill 
Callaghan.  I  looked  in.  It  was  gloomy,  but  even  in  the 
gloom  I  was  confident  it  was  not  Callaghan. 

"  '  That's  not  Callaghan,'  I  said. 

"  The  gaol  people  thought  I  was  trying  to  beat  them 
out  of  the  reward.  I  told  them  to  bring  the  fellow  out 
into  a  better  light.  They  did  so,  and  Turnkey  Smith,  of 
Sandwich  gaol,  said  it  was  not  Callaghan.  I  looked  at 
Rice. 

" '  No,'  I  said ;  '  he  is  not  Callaghan.  This  is  Jim 
Leavitt,  of  New  York.  Jim,  I  have  seen  you  at  Billy 
Brown's  in  Bleecker  Street,  and  at  The  Allen's.' 

" '  Well,  you  needn't  get  mad  about  it,'  said  Jim. 

"  '  What  do  they  charge  you  with  ?  '  said  I. 

"  '  They  say  I  made  a  call  on  a  banker,  and  some  one 
stuck  his  revolver  in  my  pocket  and  I  did  not  throw  it 
away,'  said  Leavitt. 

"  He  was  a  droll  crook.  He  was  no  relation  to  my  old 
friend  Leavitt  of  the  Dain  affair  and  Frank  Meagher's 
case. 

"  I  returned  to  Toronto  without  Callaghan.  I  next 
heard  of  him  in  New  Mexico.  Some  said  he  was  killed, 
and,  later,  others  said  he  was  drowned  in  South  America. 
He  never  was  captured,  and  in  all  probability  he  is  dead. 
His  murder  of  Governor  O'Callaghan  Leech  stirred  up 


LUKE  PHIPPS,  BURIED  HIMSELF  ALIVE    219 

the  people  of  the  county ;  and  when  Luke  Phipps,  who 
had  escaped  from  the  same  gaol,  came  up  for  trial  for 
murder  some  months  after  the  Leech  killing,  public  opin- 
ion was  not  kindly.  So  Luke  Phipps  went  to  the  gal- 
lows.    I  pitied  Phipps. 

"  His  sentence  seemed  as  heavy  as  Blinky  Morgan's 
seemed  light.  Judge  Gait,  however,  balanced  the  Morgan 
sentence  soon  thereafter.  In  the  county  of  Durham 
lived  four  young  men,  sons  of  respectable  farmers.  Their 
names  were  Karsha,  Kating,  Armour,  and  Hearn.  They 
were  great  friends,  and  were  much  together.  Near  Graf- 
ton, in  that  county,  lived  a  Mrs.  Bennett,  of  the  same 
name  as  the  woman  in  the  Burk  and  McPherson  case. 
The  two  women  lived  about  fifty  miles  apart,  but  were 
not  related.  This  Mrs.  Bennett  lived  with  her  husband, 
who  was  a  labouring  farmer,  and  her  three  children  (two 
girls,  fourteen  and  twelve  years  old,  and  a  little  boy). 
In  November,  1884,  she  was  in  a  delicate  condition,  and 
her  husband  was  away  working. 

"  Karsha,  Kating,  Armour,  and  Hearn  had  started  out 
that  day  together,  bent  on  pleasure.  They  had  no  par- 
ticular plan  at  the  outset  to  violate  the  law.  But  they 
drifted  along  together  in  careless  association.  In  my  ex- 
perience, with  minor  crimes  particularly,  I  have  observed 
again  and  again  how  two  or  three  or  four  young  fellows, 
without  any  criminal  intent  at  the  outset,  have  ended  a 
day  together  in  lawlessness  that  landed  them  in  prison. 
It  began,  perchance,  in  idle  boast  and  then  in  banter,  over 
little  acts  of  recklessness,  until  by  gradual  advance  they 
came  to  the  boundary  line  of  crime,  and  rushed  across  it 
with  a  hip-hurrah,  to  drown  any  voice  that  might  whisper 
of  open  prison-doors  beyond.  It  was  in  this  way  that 
Karsha,  Kating,  Armour,  and  Hearn  drew  themselves  on 
until  they  swooped  down  on  the  little  home  where  Mrs. 
Bennett  lay  ill.  They  beat  in  the  door  and  fell  upon  her 
brutally,  then  fled. 

"  The  alarm  was  given.  The  woman  knew  them,  and 
her  little  girls  knew  them.  The  countryside  turned  out 
and  gave  chase.  Karsha,  Kating,  and  Armour  were 
caught  and  locked  up.     Hearn  escaped,  and  made  his 


220     MEMOIRS  OF  A  GREAT  DETECTIVE 

way  to  New  York.  He  had  a  mother  and  sister  living 
at  that  time  in  Napanee.  His  sister  was  ill.  Hearn  was 
very  fond  of  her,  and  she  worried  over  his  fate.  He 
communicated  with  her,  saying  he  had  escaped  and  tell- 
ing her  where  he  was.  I  intercepted  the  letter,  and 
within  an  hour  a  telegram  went  to  him  saying  that,  if  he 
wished  to  see  his  sister  alive,  he  should  come  at  once.  I 
went  to  Napanee  and  watched  the  trains.  Hearn  was 
due  on  the  night  train  twenty-four  hours  after  the  tele- 
gram was  sent.  The  train  arrived,  but  no  Hearn  alighted. 
I  went  to  the  house  of  his  sister  and  found  him.  He  had 
leaped  from  the  train  before  it  reached  the  station,  and 
had  made  his  way  to  the  house  by  a  roundabout  route 
across  the  fields.  I  took  him  to  Cobourg  the  next  morn- 
ing, in  time  for  him  to  stand  trial  with  Karsha,  Rating, 
and  Armour. 

"  All  four  were  found  guilty.  The  woman,  who  did 
not  die,  and  the  little  girls  identified  them.  Judge  Gait, 
who  had  let  Blinky  Morgan  off  with  five  years,  told  the 
four  young  men  to  stand  up,  and  he  sentenced  them  to 
ten  years  apiece  in  Kingston  Penitentiary.  The  sentence 
offset  the  comment  that  had  arisen  when  Blinky,  who  had 
killed  a  man  and  tried  to  kill  an  officer,  escaped  with 
only  half  the  sentence  meted  out  to  the  four  young  men 
of  Durham." 


XXXVI 

THE  NEW  YEAR'S  MURDER  OF  STILLWELL  OF 
BAYHAM 

One-eyed  Ranse  Forbes  was  considered  the  best  shot 
in  his  section  of  the  county  of  Elgin.  Ranse  lived  near 
Eden,  in  the  township  of  Bayham.  He  had  a  sister, 
Jennie,  and  the  two  frequently  visited  at  the  home  of 
Lewis  N.  Stillwell,  a  young  farmer,  who  lived  with  his 
wife  and  two  children  in  the  same  township  of  Bayham. 
Ranse  and  Mrs.   Stillwell  were  old  acquaintances,  and 


MURDER  OF  STILLWELL  OF  BAYHAM    22: 

Stillwell  and  Ranse's  sister  had  known  each  other  for  a 
long  time. 

"  On  New  Year's  Day,  1885,"  says  Murray,  "  Ranse 
and  his  sister  Jennie,  and  Albert  Thomas,  the  son  of  a 
neighbouring  farmer,  were  at  the  Still  wells'.  It  was  a 
jolly  party.  Stillwell  was  about  thirty-five  years  old, 
Ranse  was  twenty-eight  years  old,  and  Thomas,  the 
youngest  of  the  three,  was  twenty-two  years  old.  They 
had  a  fine  dinner  at  the  Stillwells'  that  day.  A  neigh- 
bour who  asked  for  Stillwell  that  evening  was  told  he 
had  gone  to  his  father's  house.  Forbes  and  Thomas  told 
other  neighbours  that  Stillwell  had  started  on  the  after- 
noon of  New  Year's  Day  to  visit  his  parents.  The  par- 
ents had  seen  nothing  of  him,  so  on  the  following  Satur- 
day a  searching  party  was  organised,  and  fields  and 
woods  were  beaten,  and  the  body  of  Stillwell  was  found 
in  a  clump  of  woods  some  distance  from  his  house.  He 
was  dead. 

"  A  bullet  hole  in  the  back  of  the  head  and  a  hole  in 
the  forehead  showed  how  he  had  died.  I  went  to  the 
place.  The  shot  had  been  a  beauty.  It  required  a 
perfect  marksman  to  put  a  bullet  in  the  head  so  it  would 
bore,  as  it  came  out,  a  hole  directly  through  the  centre 
of  the  forehead.  I  learned  that  Ranse  had  borrowed  a 
forty-four  calibre  Spencer  repeating  rifle  on  December 
26th  from  a  man  named  Rutherford.  I  learned  also  by 
thorough  inquiry  that  Forbes  had  bought  a  box  of  forty- 
four  calibre  cartridges  at  Golding's.  I  questioned  young 
Thomas.  He  was  not  communicative.  In  fact,  after  I 
had  left  him  he  said  to  a  friend,  '  The  authorities  will 
have  to  stretch  my  neck  as  long  as  a  fence  rail  before  I'll 
squeal.' 

"  No  one  had  even  suggested  squealing  or  confessing 
to  this  young  man,  so  far  as  I  knew.  But  I  promptly 
heard  what  he  had  said,  and  it  decided  me  finally  as  to 
my  course  in  the  case.  I  learned  from  the  women  at  the 
Stillwell  house  on  New  Year's  Day  that  after  dinner  on 
that  day  Stillwell,  Forbes,  and  Thomas  went  down  to  the 
clump  of  woods  in  which  Stillwell's  body  was  found.  I 
learned    also   that   along   towards   twilight   Forbes   and 


222     MEMOIRS  OF  A  GREAT  DETECTIVE 

Thomas  returned  to  the  Stillwell  house  alone.  They 
were  committed  for  trial. 

"  Soon  after  they  were  committed,  a  magistrate  of  the 
neighbourhood  came  to  me,  and  asked  if  Thomas  could 
tell  the  whole  truth.  Thomas's  father  and  sister  had 
called  on  him.  I  saw  Judge  Hughes,  and  Thomas 
was  called  in  before  Forbes  and  Mrs.  Stillwell,  and 
he,  the  young  man  whose  neck  would  be  stretched  as 
long  as  a  fence  rail  before  he  would  squeal,  voluntarily 
confessed,  and  told  his  story  of  what  had  happened.  He 
said  that  after  the  three  entered  the  woods,  Forbes  walk- 
ing behind,  shot  Stillwell  in  the  back  of  the  head,  the 
bullet  passing  out  through  the  forehead.  Forbes  and 
Thomas  then  returned  to  the  house,  leaving  Stillwell  dead 
in  the  woods.  When  they  arrived  at  the  house,  said 
Thomas,  Forbes  said  to  Mrs.  Stillwell,  '  Come  back  to  the 
kitchen.'  When  she  went  to  the  kitchen,  said  Thomas, 
Forbes  told  her,  '  We've  done  the  job.' 

"  The  trial  was  held  at  the  Spring  Assizes.  Judge 
Matthew  Crooks  Cameron,  of  whose  extensive  career  as 
a  defender  of  prisoners  I  already  have  spoken,  presided 
at  the  trial,  as  he  had  become  a  judge  some  years  before. 
Macdougall  and  Robertson  were  counsel  for  the  accused, 
and  Colter,  of  Cayuga,  prosecuted.  The  defence,  of 
course,  knew  that  young  Thomas  was  to  testify  against 
Forbes.  They  set  out  to  nullify  his  testimony.  They 
got  some  one  into  the  gaol  who  talked  that  Forbes  was 
going  on  the  stand  and  swear  that  it  was  Thomas,  not  he, 
who  did  the  shooting.  When  Thomas  was  on  the  wit- 
ness-stand at  the  trial,  he  was  asked  in  cross-examination 
if  he  had  heard  any  one  say  that  Forbes  had  stated  he 
would  swear  Thomas  did  the  shooting?  Thomas  replied 
that  he  had  heard  such  talk. 

"  '  Who  was  doing  the  talking,  did  you  think  ?  '  he  was 
asked. 

"  '  I  thought  detectives  were  those  talking  it,'  he  an- 
swered. 

"  Judge  Cameron  discarded  his  evidence.  The  defence 
made  an  able  fight,  and  the  verdict  was  acquittal. 

"  I  was  in  California  on  another  case  at  the  time  of  the 


MURDER  OF  STILLWELL  OF  BAYHAM    223 

trial,  and  was  not  present  during  any  part  of  it.  The 
case  was  one  of  interest  at  the  time,  for  the  public  seemed 
to  have  well-defined  ideas  as  to  how  the  death  of  Still- 
well  had  occurred.  Confessions  are  not  always  effective, 
even  if  they  should  happen  to  be  true  in  every  detail. 
The  circumstances  surrounding  every  episode  of  signifi- 
cance in  a  case  are  certain  to  weigh  heavily  one  way  or 
the  other.  I  have  seen  direct  evidence,  given  under  un- 
favourable circumstances,  thrown  out  or  rendered  ineffect- 
ive by  reason  of  these  very  disadvantages  of  circumstan- 
ces. Circumstantial  evidence  is  harder  to  upset  than 
direct  evidence  in  certain  respects.  A  positive  fact, 
relying  on  a  direct  statement  for  its  confirmation,  may 
fail  by  reason  of  the  statement  being  involved  in  extrane- 
ous matters  damaging  to  its  own  good  repute  or  validity. 
A  positive  fact,  borne  out  by  circumstances,  needs  no 
further  confirmation. 

"  The  Stillwell  case  demonstrated  clearly  that  some  one 
was  lying  desperately.  Thomas  said  Forbes  shot  Still- 
well.  Thomas's  statement  was  discounted  because  some 
one  had  stated  Forbes  said  Thomas  shot  Stillwell.  The 
accident  theory,  that  Stillwell  had  shot  himself,  did  not 
figure  in  the  case.  But  the  chief  interest  of  the  case,  to 
my  mind,  was  not  in  its  mystery,  for  after  the  evidence 
was  collected  there  was  no  mystery  about  it,  but  in  the 
clever  evasion  of  the  effects  of  a  damaging  confession. 
And  after  all,  young  Thomas's  neck  was  not  stretched  as 
long  as  a  fence  rail. 

"  The  results  of  such  a  trial  are  permanent,  even  where 
there  is  an  acquittal.  For  instance,  in  the  township  of 
Bayham,  the  entire  countryside  does  not  puzzle  still  as  to 
who  killed  Stillwell.  The  trial  served  some  good  ends. 
The  verdict  was  <  Not  guilty.'  The  people  heard  it,  and 
went  on  about  their  business.  That  was  the  only  thing 
to  do. 

"  Jennie  Forbes,  Ranse's  sister,  afterwards  married  the 
turnkey  of  the  St.  Thomas  gaol." 


224     MEMOIRS  OF  A  GREAT  DETECTIVE 
XXXVII 
THE  WINTER  ROAD  TO  MANITOULIN 

One  of  the  exciting  times  in  the  history  of  the  Pro- 
vincial Parliament  was  in  1885.  It  began  in  accusations 
of  bribery  and  grew  into  a  dynamite  scare,  in  which  some 
nervous  members  believed,  as  they  sat  in  their  seats,  that 
the  next  minute  they  might  be  sailing  skyward  in  frag- 
ments, along  with  the  remnants  of  the  building,  all  blown 
to  pieces  by  a  dynamite  explosion. 

"  A  plot  or  conspiracy  had  been  hatched,"  says  Mur- 
ray, "  to  defeat  the  Mowat  Government.  Several  cash 
offers  were  made,  and  it  was  stated  that  in  certain  in- 
stances money  actually  had  been  paid  over  to  members 
to  draw  them  away  from  the  Government  side.  The 
Government  got  on  to  it,  and  there  was  great  excitement 
in  the  House.  Feeling  ran  high.  There  was  bitterness 
on  both  sides. 

"  On  top  of  all  the  excitement  came  the  discovery 
that  dynamite  was  placed  round  the  building,  and  there 
was  talk  of  a  terrific  explosion  that  was  planned.  At 
that  time  the  old  Parliament  Building  at  Wellington  and 
Front  Streets  was  in  use.  There  was  a  great  scare  over 
the  dynamite  affair,  and  the  excitement  grew.  It  cul- 
minated when  some  of  the  members  rose  and  stated  the 
amount  of  purchase  money  that  had  been  offered  to 
them  to  vote  for  the  Opposition.  Warrants  were  issued 
for  the  arrest  of  parties  alleged  to  have  tried  to  bribe 
members.  '  Big  Push '  Wilkinson,  a  politician,  and 
others  were  arrested. 

"  One  of  the  members,  R.  A.  Lyon,  living  on  Mani- 
toulin  Island,  was  absent  at  his  home,  and  I  was  instructed 
to  serve  papers  on  him.  It  was  in  March,  1885.  Lyon 
lived  far  to  the  north,  several  hundred  miles  from  Toronto. 
The  time  was  limited.  I  went  by  rail  to  the  end  of  the 
road  at  that  time,  Gravenhurst.  I  arrived  in  Gravenhurst 
on  Tuesday,  March  3d.  A  blizzard  was  raging.  I  hired 
a  pair  of  horses  and  a  sleigh,  and  struck  out  for  the 
north,  heading  first  for  Sufferin,  forty-five  miles  away.     I 


THE  WINTER  ROAD  TO  MANITOULIN    225 

had  been  over  the  road  only  once  before,  in  the  summer. 
I  tried  to  hire  a  man  to  go  with  me,  but  none  was  will- 
ing to  go.  The  snow  was  whirling  and  blowing  and 
drifting,  and  the  trail  was  hid,  for  long  distances,  beneath 
stretches  of  snow  that  rose  and  curved  away  like  sand 
dunes.  Night  fell  shortly  after  I  started,  and  I  pressed 
on  in  the  dark  hoping  for  a  brighter  moon.  I  had  stuck 
in  a  drift  a  few  miles  out  of  Gravenhurst,  and  had  found  a 
rail  fence  near  by.  I  appropriated  one  of  the  rails,  and 
took  it  with  me  in  the  sleigh. 

"  About  midnight  I  suddenly  came  upon  the  end  of 
my  road  in  a  dense  wood  and  a  deep  drift.  The  horses 
were  stuck,  the  sleigh  was  fast.  No  house  was  in  sight. 
I  could  move  neither  forward  nor  back.  The  snow  drifted 
up  against  the  sleigh.  I  seemed  to  have  come  into  a 
pocket  where  the  road  ended.  I  tumbled  out  and  floun- 
dered around.  I  had  missed  the  main  road  and  gone  up 
a  blind  timber  trail,  and  had  driven  into  a  drift.  I  got 
my  fence  rail  and  laboriously  broke  a  road.  Then  I 
unhitched  the  horses,  and  tied  them  to  a  tree  beside  the 
sleigh.  Then  I  tried  to  get  the  sleigh  turned  around.  I 
dug  the  snow  away  from  it  with  the  rail,  and  finally  got 
underneath  it  and  lifted  it  around.  In  doing  so,  I  stuck 
feet  first  in  the  snow  underneath  the  sleigh.  I  struggled 
to  get  out,  but  was  caught  as  if  in  a  vice.  The  rail  lay 
just  beyond  my  reach.  The  wind  was  whirling  the  snow 
about  me,  and  I  was  yearning  for  it  to  subside.  I  grimly 
calculated  my  chances  of  escape.  I  was  up  a  blind  trail, 
untravelled  and  abandoned.  I  could  expect  no  help  from 
passers-by,  because  there  were  no  passers-by  on  such  a 
road.  As  I  thought  it  over,  I  was  dealt  a  stinging  blow 
across  the  face.  It  seemed  to  come  from  nowhere,  yet  I 
felt  the  burn  of  the  welt.  I  began  to  dig  with  my  hands 
to  free  my  body  from  the  drift,  when  a  second  smashing 
slash  in  the  face  made  me  turn  in  time  to  see  the  reins 
from  the  horses  fly  past  in  the  wind.  I  waited,  watching 
them.  They  whirled  up  again,  and  came  swishing  down. 
I  grabbed  and  caught  them.  Then  I  began  to  pull  and 
call  to  the  horses  to  back  up.  They  plunged  a  bit,  then 
drew  back,  snapping  the  hitching  strap  that  tied  them  to 


226     MEMOIRS  OF  A  GREAT  DETECTIVE 

the  tree.  I  drew  them  over  close  by  me,  and  fastened 
the  reins  through  the  traces  and  then  wrapped  them 
around  me.  Then  I  shouted  to  the  horses  and  pelted 
them  with  snowballs,  and  wriggled  and  kicked  as  best  I 
could.  They  leaped  forward,  and  at  last  I  felt  myself 
coming  up  out  of  the  drift. 

"  I  hitched  the  team  to  the  sleigh  again,  and  beat  my 
way  back  along  the  timber  trail  to  the  main  trail,  and 
pressed  on.  It  was  a  rough,  hilly,  rocky  country.  The 
wind  was  howling  and  tearing  at  the  trees  in  the  forest. 
I  remembered  that  Sufferin  simply  was  a  farmhouse  with 
a  barn  and  a  big  tree — a  giant,  standing  alone  near  the 
barn.  Every  big  tree  that  loomed  up  caused  me  to  stop 
and  alight  and  stumble  through  the  snow  in  search  of  a 
house  or  barn.  At  half-past  one  in  the  morning  I  heard 
a  long,  loud  howl.  I  stopped  and  listened.  It  sounded 
again,  ahead  of  me.  I  drove  forward,  listening,  and  saw 
in  the  night  another  big  tree.  I  alighted,  and  started 
towards  it,  and  a  dog  rushed  through  the  drifts  to  me. 
I  followed  him,  and  found  the  farmhouse  of  Sufferin.  I 
went  back  for  my  team,  brought  them  up,  and  hailed 
the  house.  A  woman  answered;  the  man  was  ill.  I 
stabled  the  horses.  They  were  too  hot  to  feed,  and  I 
had  to  wait  up  with  them  until  three  o'clock.  It  was 
biting  cold.  I  took  the  buffalo  robes  into  the  house, 
and  laid  down  on  the  floor  by  the  stove  at  three  o'clock, 
and  slept  two  hours. 

"  At  half-past  five  o'clock  in  the  morning  I  started  for 
Parry  Sound,  thirty  miles  from  Sufferin.  It  was  after- 
noon when  my  tired  team  dragged  its  weary  way  into 
Parry  Sound.  The  horses  were  exhausted.  I  stabled 
them,  and  called  on  Postmaster  Ainsley  and  Judge 
McCurry,  the  stipendiary  magistrate.  I  had  over  one 
hundred  and  fifty  miles  by  the  nearest  route  from  there 
to  Manitoulin  Island.  I  searched  Parry  Sound  for  a  man 
to  go.  None  would  make  the  trip.  It  was  a  wild  route 
over  a  desolate  way.  There  was  no  road,  no  trail.  There 
were  stretches  of  ice  that  ended  suddenly  in  open  water, 
there  were  rocky  trails  along  bits  of  land,  there  were 
yawning  cracks  in  ice  and  deep  chasms  in  snow.     Some 


THE  WINTER  ROAD  TO  MANITOULIN    227 

had  to  be  bridged  with  trees,  others  had  to  be  circled  for 
miles  around.  They  said  no  team  could  make  the  trip, 
that  only  a  dog  sled  could  hope  to  get  through  in  such 
weather.  I  finally  found  a  fellow  named  Elliott  who 
agreed  to  go,  naming  his  own  price.  He  had  been  a 
sailor  and  hunter  and  trapper  and  fisherman,  and  knew 
the  whole  country.  After  agreeing  to  go,  he  went  out 
and  came  back  shortly,  and  declined  to  go. 

" '  Name  your  own  price,'  said  I. 

"  He  gave  me  a  raise  on  his  first  figure,  and  agreed  to 
go.     He  went  out,  came  back,  and  declined  again. 

" '  For  the  third  and  last  time,  name  your  own  price,' 
said  I. 

"  Elliott  gave  me  another  raise,  saying  there  were 
some  bad  holes  in  the  ice  that  he  had  not  remembered  at 
first.  He  went  out  again,  and  came  back  and  said  he 
would  have  to  buy  some  new  snow-shoes  or  he  could 
not  go.  I  bought  them  for  him.  He  went  out  and 
came  back  and  said  he  would  have  to  buy  a  new  dog 
sled  or  he  could  not  go.  I  bought  a  new  dog  sled  for 
him.  He  went  out,  and  back  he  came  again  and  said  he 
had  to  buy  another  dog  or  he  could  not  go.  I  bought 
the  new  dog  for  him.  He  came  back  for  two  extra 
blankets.     I  bought  them. 

"'And  here  are  three  bottles  of  brandy,'  I  said.  '  Now 
will  you  go  ?  ' 

" '  It's  a  go  this  time,'  said  Elliott. 

"  He  brought  up  his  sled  and  four  dogs,  and  I  gave 
him  the  papers  and  conduct  money.  To  make  sure  he 
would  go,  I  drove  ten  or  twelve  miles  with  him  on  the 
ice  of  Georgian  Bay,  as  far  as  I  could  go.  Then  I  had 
to  turn  back  to  Parry  Sound,  as  I  could  go  no  farther. 
I  saw  him  go  singing  over  the  ice  with  his  dogs.  He  had 
chosen  a  route  of  two  hundred  and  seventy  miles.  He 
slept  out  with  his  dogs  on  the  way.  He  made  his  way 
through,  too  ;  thanks,  I  suppose,  to  the  brandy,  from  his 
point  of  view.  Lyon  was  served  with  the  papers.  I 
made  my  way  back  to  Toronto,  driving  to  Gravenhurst 
by  daylight  from  Sufferin. 

"  The  bribery  cases  dwindled  to  nothing,  like  all  bribery 


228     MEMOIRS  OF  A  GREAT  DETECTIVE 

investigations,  as  a  rule.  No  one  was  sent  to  prison. 
No  dynamite  exploded.  All  grew  tranquil,  and  the 
Mowat  Government  was  not  upset.  On  the  road  to 
Sufferin  was  the  only  time  in  my  life  when  I  was  grate- 
ful for  a  slap  in  the  face,  repeated  on  one  cheek  and  the 
other  also." 


XXXVIII 
THE  LONG  POINT  MYSTERY 

The  lighthouse  keeper  on  Long  Point,  on  the  north 
shore  of  Lake  Erie,  near  Port  Rowan,  was  sitting  by  the 
window  one  bitter  cold  morning  in  December,  1884. 
The  waves  were  pounding  shoreward  over  a  fringe  of 
ice.  The  wind  was  howling  in  a  gale,  and  not  a  sign  of 
life  was  visible  over  the  expanse  of  waters.  The  keeper 
idly  swept  the  shore-line  with  his  gaze,  from  horizon  on 
the  right  to  horizon  on  the  left.  He  saw  nothing  but 
tumbling  waters  and  icy  rime.  He  poked  the  fire  and 
resumed  his  seat.  As  he  glanced  out  he  saw  a  black 
object  bobbing  in  the  water ;  it  rose  and  fell  and  rolled 
as  the  waves  beat  in  or  receded  ;  it  was  coming  shore- 
wards.  Thrice  it  was  tossed  up  on  the  ice,  and  thrice  it 
glided  back  and  slid  with  a  splash  into  the  water.  The 
fourth  time  the  waters  seemed  to  lift  it  up  and  toss  it  for- 
ward so  that  it  lay  a  shapeless  bundle  on  the  shore. 

The  keeper  of  the  light  levelled  his  glasses  on  it,  and 
instantly  laid  them  aside,  donned  his  cap  and  coat,  and 
hurried  out.  He  ran  down  the  shore  to  where  the  object 
lay,  and  knelt  beside  it.  The  figure  was  that  of  a  man. 
The  body  was  wound  with  rope,  and  the  limbs  were 
rope-bound.  The  hands  were  tied.  Dickinson,  the  light 
keeper,  picked  up  the  icy  body  and  carried  it  to  the  lonely 
lighthouse.  He  judged  it  was  a  sailor  from  some  vessel 
of  the  lakes,  gone  to  a  watery  grave  and  cast  ashore  long 
after  death.  He  made  a  rough  box,  cut  away  the  ropes 
from  the  body,  and  buried  it  as  it  was,  boots  and  all,  on 


THE  LONG  POINT  MYSTERY  229 

Long  Point.  He  marked  the  grave  of  the  unknown 
dead  with  a  board ;  there  was  no  clue  to  the  man's 
identity.  His  features  were  the  face  of  a  stranger ;  he 
wore  no  hat,  his  clothing  was  unmarked.  Snow  soon 
hid  the  grave,  and  Dickinson  forgot  about  it,  save  for  an 
occasional  wondering,  as  he  sat  by  the  fire  in  the  long 
winter  nights,  whether  the  man  had  come  to  his  death 
by  fair  means  or  foul ;  whether  he  had  died  in  his  bunk 
naturally  or  whether  in  the  night  he  had  been  seized  and 
bound  and  buried  alive  in  the  waters  that  may  give  up 
their  dead  but  tell  no  tales  of  their  tragedies.  A  para- 
graph in  the  newspapers  some  days  later  said  simply 
that  an  unknown  body  had  been  washed  ashore  on  Long 
Point  and  had  been  buried  by  the  keeper  of  the  light- 
house. 

"  Three  months  later,"  says  Murray,  "  John  Piggott, 
of  Bay  City,  Michigan,  communicated  with  the  Govern- 
ment about  this  body.  For  months  John  Piggott  had 
been  searching  for  his  brother  Marshall  Piggott.  Marshall 
was  a  young  farmer,  twenty-nine  years  old,  who  lived  in 
the  township  of  Malahyde,  county  of  Elgin,  Ontario, 
about  forty  miles  from  Port  Rowan.  His  father,  before 
he  died,  gave  him  a  small  farm  of  about  fifty  acres  on  the 
shore  of  Lake  Erie.  Piggott  married  Sarah  Beacham,  a 
neighbouring  farmer's  daughter,  and  they  settled  on  the 
little  farm.  They  had  no  children.  In  the  early  part  of 
1884  Sarah  died  mysteriously,  and  one  of  the  features  of 
her  death  was  a  violent  attack  of  retching.  Marshall 
Piggott  was  not  a  bright  man,  but  rather  slow  and  simple 
minded.  At  ten  o'clock  on  the  morning  of  November 
17th,  1884,  a  few  months  after  his  wife  died,  Marshall  was 
seen  going  down  the  road  towards  the  lake  near  his 
house.  That  was  the  last  known  of  him.  Some  of  the 
neighbours,  when  he  failed  to  appear,  thought  he  had 
gone  on  a  visit  to  his  brother  John  in  Michigan.  When 
John  heard  of  it  he  began  a  search  for  his  brother.  He 
read  the  newspapers  carefully  for  tidings  of  unknown 
dead,  and  when  the  Long  Point  burial  was  printed  he  saw 
it,  and  once  more  communicated  with  the  Government. 
This  was  in  March,  1885,  and  on  March  10th  I  went  to 


230     MEMOIRS  OF  A  GREAT  DETECTIVE 

St.  Thomas  and  met  John  Piggott,  and  conferred  with 
Judge  Hughes. 

"  John  Piggott  and  I  then  went  by  train  to  Aylmer 
and  thence  drove  to  Port  Rowan,  and  then  drove  on  the 
ice  to  Long  Point.  We  had  the  body  dug  up  and  the 
coffin  opened.  The  body  was  decomposed,  but  John 
Piggott  identified  it  positively  as  the  body  of  his  brother 
Marshall  Piggott.  He  identified  the  boots  as  a  pair  he 
had  worn  and  had  given  to  Marshall.  He  identified  a 
peculiar  mark  on  the  big  toe  of  the  right  foot,  and  he 
also  identified  the  peculiar  pigeon-breast.  William  Dick- 
inson, the  lighthouse  keeper,  said  that  the  face,  when  he 
found  the  body,  bore  a  strong  resemblance  to  the  face 
of  John  Piggott.  He  said  John  and  the  dead  man  looked 
alike.  There  was  little  face  when  we  saw  the  body ;  the 
head  had  been  smashed  in  and  the  chin  broken.  Satis- 
fied that  the  body  was  that  of  Marshall  Piggott  we  had 
it  taken  to  Port  Rowan  and  buried.  On  March  24th  I 
drove  the  mother  of  Marshall  Piggott  from  her  home  in 
Nilestown,  county  of  Middlesex,  to  Port  Rowan  and  had 
the  body  exhumed,  and  the  mother  identified  the  clothes 
and  the  body. 

"  Who  killed  him  ?  The  question  presented  itself  the 
moment  I  saw  the  crushed  skull  and  the  lighthouse 
keeper  told  me  of  the  way  the  body  was  bound  with  rope, 
and  the  way  the  hands  and  limbs  were  tied.  It  was  not 
suicide.  The  rope  and  the  wounds  settled  that ;  no  man 
could  have  tied  himself  in  such  a  manner.  I  asked  the 
mother  when  she  first  heard  of  her  son  going  away.  She 
said  that  the  day  after  Marshall  disappeared  in  November, 
Havelock  Smith,  a  young  man,  twenty-eight  years  old,  who 
lived  with  his  widowed  mother  on  her  farm,  near  the  farm  of 
Marshall  Piggott,  and  whose  family  was  respected  highly 
and  prominent  in  the  country,  had  appeared  at  the  house 
and  said  he  wanted  to  see  her  alone.  Her  son,  young 
William  Piggott,  was  with  her  that  day,  making  ready  to 
go  to  Oregon  to  live.  William  stepped  outside,  and 
Havelock  Smith  then  showed  her  a  note  for  $1,300  made 
to  him,  ostensibly  by  Marshall  Piggott.  Havelock  Smith 
told  her,  said  the  mother,  that  Marshall  had  given  him 


THE  LONG  POINT  MYSTERY  231 

the  note  the  day  before  in  exchange  for  $1,300,  and 
Marshall  had  said  he  was  going  away.  The  note  was 
dated  the  day  Marshall  disappeared.  When  asked  where 
he  got  the  money  to  lend  to  Marshall,  Havelock  Smith 
said  he  borrowed  it  from  Richard  Chute.  Mrs.  Piggott 
said  she  would  have  to  find  her  son,  Marshall,  before  she 
could  do  anything  about  the  note.  She  called  her  son, 
young  William,  and  told  him  to  go  to  Marshall's  place 
and  look  after  it.  I  saw  William.  He  told  me  he  had 
driven  back  from  Nilestown  to  Marshall's  with  Havelock 
Smith,  and  on  the  way  Havelock  asked  William  to  help 
him  get  the  money.  The  story  about  borrowing  the 
money  from  Richard  Chute  I  found  untrue. 

"  I  went  to  Marshall's  place,  and  I  looked  Havelock 
Smith  over.  Then  I  visited  the  neighbours  one  by  one. 
I  learned  from  Walter  Chute  and  from  Mrs.  John  Han- 
kenson  that  on  the  day  Marshall  disappeared  Havelock 
Smith  went  to  Piggott's  house  about  half-past  nine 
o'clock  in  the  morning.  Smith  and  Piggott  were  seen 
later  walking  away  in  a  southeasterly  direction,  towards 
Smith's  farm.  That  was  the  last  seen  of  Piggott  alive.  I 
learned  that  about  four  o'clock  that  afternoon  Smith  was 
seen  by  Walter  Chute  and  his  son,  Ainslie  Chute.  Smith 
had  been  seen  first  going  towards  a  gully  about  half  a 
mile  from  Piggott's  house,  and  he  was  seen  later  coming 
back  from  the  gully.  This  gully  led  to  the  lake,  and  was 
secluded.  Walter  Chute  spoke  to  Smith  on  his  way 
back ;  Smith's  trousers  were  wet,  as  if  he  had  been  in  the 
water.  A  shot  had  been  fired  while  Smith  was  in  the 
gully.  Smith  told  Chute  he  had  shot  at  a  grey  fox  and 
missed  it. 

"  I  learned  that  on  the  Sunday  before  Piggott  disap- 
peared Smith  went  to  Port  Royal,  six  miles  away,  and 
hired  a  rowboat,  and  took  it  to  his  own  gully  and  left  it 
there  the  day  Piggott  disappeared. 

"  I  began  a  search  for  the  weapon.  I  learned  that 
some  years  before  part  of  an  old  steamer  had  drifted 
ashore,  and  in  the  wreckage  were  some  iron  grate  bars, 
each  weighing  about  one  hundred  pounds.  Walter 
Chute   had  found  these  bars.     He  had  a  maple  sugar 


232     MEMOIRS  OF  A  GREAT  DETECTIVE 

bush  near  the  gully,  and  for  arches  in  his  sugar-boiling 
furnaces  he  used  some  of  these  grate  bars.  Shortly  after 
Piggott  disappeared  Chute  was  in  his  maple  grove  and  he 
missed  one  of  these  bars. 

"  The  theory  of  the  prosecution  was  that  Piggott  had 
been  inveigled  to  the  gully  to  help  launch  the  boat,  that 
while  launching  the  boat  he  was  struck  with  a  heavy, 
blunt  instrument,  which  smashed  his  skull  and  drove  his 
head  down  so  that  the  chin  was  broken  on  the  gunwale 
of  the  boat,  that  the  iron  bar  was  taken  out  in  the  boat, 
and  tied  to  the  body  which  was  dropped  in  deep  water. 
After  the  body  was  in  the  water  some  time  it  wanted  to 
rise.  The  motion  of  the  water,  washing  the  body  to  and 
fro,  cut  the  rope,  the  body  rose  and  drifted  forty  miles  to 
Long  Point,  near  Port  Rowan,  where  the  lighthouse 
keeper  found  and  buried  it.  This  theory  was  upheld  by 
the  wounds  on  the  head,  the  skull  being  smashed  and  the 
chin  fractured.  The  shot  heard  by  the  Chutes  was  be- 
lieved by  the  prosecution  to  be  a  blind  to  account  for 
Smith's  presence  in  that  vicinity,  as  if  hunting  for  a  grey 
fox.  The  rope  was  not  a  new  rope.  I  searched  the 
country  for  miles  around,  but  could  get  no  trace  of 
where  it  was  obtained.  It  was  not  an  uncommon  kind 
of  rope. 

"  We  got  a  tug  and  dragged  the  lake  in  the  vicinity. 
We  found  the  bar,  and  a  piece  of  rope,  and  Piggott 's  hat. 
The  hat  was  anchored  to  a  stone.  I  learned  also  that 
after  Piggott  disappeared,  Smith  went  to  Buffalo,  and  on 
his  return  he  said  he  had  heard  from  Piggott  while  in 
Buffalo. 

"  Havelock  Smith  was  arrested  on  Tuesday,  March 
24th.  Arthur  Belford,  a  friend  of  Smith,  also  was 
arrested,  but  later  was  discharged.  The  preliminary  in- 
vestigation was  quite  lengthy.  Smith  was  remanded  for 
trial.  Young  William  Piggott  had  gone  to  Oregon  to 
live,  and  I  went  out  to  Portland,  and  brought  him  back 
on  April  28th,  and  he  gave  evidence  against  Smith. 

"  The  trial  of  Havelock  Smith  began  on  Tuesday,  No- 
vember 24th,  1885,  at  St.  Thomas.  Chief  Justice  Armour 
presided.     It  became  a  famous  case.     John  Idington,  of 


THE  LONG  POINT  MYSTERY  233 

Stratford,  prosecuted  for  the  Crown,  assisted  by  Donald 
Guthrie,  of  Guelph,  and  County  Attorney  James  Coyne, 
now  registrar  of  the  county  of  Elgin.  Colin  Macdougall, 
James  Robertson,  and  Edward  Meredith  defended  Smith. 
The  prosecution  swore  108  witnesses.  The  defence 
swore  a  large  number.  The  defence  maintained  that  the 
body  found  by  Dickinson,  the  lighthouse  keeper,  was  not 
the  body  of  Piggott.  A  Dr.  McLay  had  obtained  an 
order  from  the  coroner,  and  had  exhumed  the  body,  and 
said  that  no  one  could  tell  whether  it  was  the  body  of  a 
white  person  or  black  person,  man  or  woman.  Aaron 
Dolby  testified  that  Dr.  McLay  told  Mrs.  Dolby  there 
was  no  doubt  it  was  Piggott's  body.  The  defence  also 
put  in  an  alibi  with  Smith's  mother  as  the  chief  witness. 
An  excerpt  from  the  report  of  the  charge  of  Chief  Justice 
Armour  to  the  jury  will  give  a  good  idea  of  the  trend  of 
the  testimony.     The  Chief  Justice  said,  in  part : 

" *  The  prisoner  (Smith)  had  a  motive  and  interest  in 
removing  Marshall  Piggott.  Had  any  other  person  an 
interest  or  motive  ?  If  you  believe  that  the  body  is  that 
of  Marshall  Piggott  and  the  note  is  a  forgery,  which  could 
not  be  realised  on  except  by  the  removal  of  the  maker, 
then  does  not  the  evidence  point  conclusively  to  the 
prisoner  as  the  perpetrator  of  the  crimes  ?  Why  did  the 
prisoner  make  so  many  untrue  statements  ?  What  was 
the  object  of  prisoner's  visit  to  Buffalo  ?  He  told  several 
people  he  had  received  a  letter  from  Marshall  at  Buffalo. 
Why  wasn't  the  letter  produced?  Wasn't  the  whole 
thing  a  blind  to  throw  suspicion  off  himself  ?  Who  was 
it  had  the  opportunity  to  kill  Marshall,  who  had  the 
motive,  and  who  had  the  object  ?  If  you  have  reasonable 
doubt  as  to  the  guilt  of  the  prisoner,  then  it  is  your  duty 
to  acquit  him.  But  this  doubt  must  be  a  reasonable  one, 
gentlemen.  If,  after  sifting  the  evidence  thoroughly,  and 
eliminating  all  that  you  believe  to  be  false,  you  think  that 
the  evidence  is  equally  divided  as  to  the  guilt  or  the 
innocence  of  the  prisoner,  then  it  is  your  duty  to  acquit 
him.  But,  if  on  the  other  hand,  the  facts  and  circum- 
stances advanced  by  the  Crown  and  the  deductions  to  be 
drawn  therefrom  are,  in  your  opinion,  sufficiently  strong 


234     MEMOIRS  OF  A  GREAT  DETECTIVE 

to  prove  to  you  that  Marshall  Piggott  met  his  death  at 
the  hands  of  an  assassin,  and  that  the  prisoner  was  an 
active  or  passive  participant  in  encompassing  his  death, 
then  it  is  equally  your  duty  to  fearlessly  and  man- 
fully record  your  verdict  of  guilty.  You  may  now  re- 
tire.' 

"  The  jury  deadlocked.  It  stood  five  for  conviction 
and  seven  for  acquittal,  and  could  not  agree. 

"  The  second  trial  was  set  for  May,  1886.  The  defence 
was  not  ready,  and  the  trial  went  over  until  September, 
1886,  before  Judge  O'Connor,  at  St.  Thomas.  The  case 
was  fought  out  again.  In  selecting  the  jury  for  this 
second  trial  I  objected  strongly  to  certain  jurors,  but  the 
Crown  attorneys  overruled  me.  They  said  they  were 
satisfied  the  jurors  were  all  right.  They  thought  the  de- 
fence would  object  to  some  of  them.  I  said  the  de- 
fence would  not  object,  and  it  then  would  be  too  late  for 
the  Crown.  The  panel  was  almost  exhausted,  and,  against 
my  urgent  advice,  they  accepted  two  of  these  jurors. 
The  result  showed  the  jurors  I  objected  to  were  the  main- 
stay in  holding  out  for  a  disagreement.  The  jury  at  this 
second  trial  stood  seven  for  conviction  and  five  for  ac- 
quittal. The  prisoner  was  released  on  $8,000  bonds.  I 
advised  a  third  trial,  as  there  was  no  question  in  my  mind 
as  to  who  did  it.  Smith  had  a  number  of  influential 
friends.  His  brothers,  Harvey  and  William,  were  highly 
esteemed.  William  was  a  member  of  the  County  Council. 
At  both  trials  there  was  great  sympathy  for  Havelock 
Smith's  family  and  relatives. 

"  In  this  case  the  Chief  Justice  said  to  the  jury  :  '  The 
only  certainty  that  human  affairs  permits  of  is  a  high  de- 
gree of  probability.  You  are  not  expected  to  have  direct 
evidence  of  a  crime.  If  such  were  the  law,  ninety-nine 
out  of  one  hundred  guilty  men  would  go  unpunished. 
Criminals  seek  secrecy  for  their  crimes.  If  a  witness 
comes  forward  and  says  he  saw  a  man  kill  another  by  a 
blow,  or  in  any  other  way,  there  is  always  the  possibility 
that  he  may  be  telling  an  untruth,  and  there  must  always 
be  corroborative  evidence  of  a  circumstantial  character.' 
The  Chief  Justice's  charge,  in  the  report,  also  contains 


JOHN  STONE,  GENTLEMAN  235 

the  sentence :  '  Circumstantial  evidence  is  the  best  kind 
of  evidence.' 

"  I  read  a  lot  of  praise  of  the  circumstantial  case  of  the 
Crown  against  Havelock  Smith.  My  mind  is  undimmed 
by  a  doubt  on  this  case.  Smith,  the  last  I  heard,  still 
was  around  in  that  vicinity,  and  Marshall  Piggott  lies 
buried  not  far  away." 


XXXIX 
JOHN  STONE,  GENTLEMAN 

John  Stone  was  a  cynic,  an  atheist,  and  an  English 
gentleman.  He  came  of  an  ancient  and  honourable 
family.  His  father  educated  him  for  the  Church  of  Eng- 
land and  his  mother's  heart's  desire  was  to  see  him  a 
clergyman.  He  graduated  from  Harrow  (preparatory 
school  only)  and  was  famed  among  his  classmen  for  his 
brilliancy.  Instead  of  training  for  the  pulpit  he  de- 
veloped a  yearning  for  the  stage  and  he  turned  his  back 
on  the  ministerial  career  planned  by  his  parents,  and 
devoted  himself  to  the  study  of  Shakespeare  and  the 
portrayal  of  Shakespearean  roles.  He  married  a  Miss 
Morley,  a  relative  of  the  Right  Hon.  John  Morley,  and 
after  loitering  for  a  year  or  two  he  suddenly  packed  his 
trunks  and  sailed,  with  his  wife,  for  America. 

"  He  settled  in  Texas,"  says  Murray,  "  and  bought  a 
large  ranch  not  far  from  Dallas.  Subsequently  he  moved 
into  Dallas  and  was  elected  Mayor  of  Dallas  and  was  re- 
elected. He  was  such  a  remarkable  man,  with  such  a 
command  of  language,  that  it  is  not  strange  he  should 
become  involved  as  the  central  figure  in  an  affair  which 
drew  the  attention  of  the  President  of  the  United  States, 
the  British  Ambassador,  the  Attorney-General  of  the 
United  States,  and  high  officials  of  both  Canada  and  the 
neighbouring  country. 

"  Stone  had  a  sister,  a  Mrs.  Asa  Hodge,  who  came 
from  England  to  Canada  and  lived  in  Beamsville,  county 


236     MEMOIRS  OF  A  GREAT  DETECTIVE 

of  Lincoln,  twenty  miles  from  Suspension  Bridge. >  Her-' 
husband  was  a  fruit  grower.     Mayor  Stone  of   Dallas 
made  occasional  visits  to  New  York,  and  on  one  of  these' 
trips  he  called  to  see  his  sister.     One  of  her  children, 
Maude  Hodge,  was  a  beautiful  girl  of  sixteen  at  thfs  time^, 
John  Stone,  when  he  saw  her  liked  her  so  much  that  hre 
took  her  back  to  Texas  and  kept  her  in  his  owjvframily, 
educating  her  with  his  own  children.     Several  yeaite  lajjer 
Mrs.   Hodge  went   to  Texas   to  visit   her  brother  and 
daughter.     She  did  not  like  the  lool**of  things.     Maude 
had  grown  to  a  lovely  young  woman  of  nineteen,  and 
John  Stone  regarded  her  with  jealous  affection.     Mrs. 
Hodge  took  her  daughter  away  from  Stone  and  brought 
her    home   to    Beamsville,   very   much   against   Stone's 
wishes.  4ji 

"  John  Stone  tarried  in  Texas  for.  a  short  time,  and 
then  he,  too,  went  to  Beamsville,  where  Maude  was  liv- 
ing. He  started  a  che^e  factory,  an«Kmoved  his  family 
from  Dallas  to  Beamsville.  Maude  Hodge  became  his 
clerk  in  the  factory.  At  that  time^Stone  was  a  man 
about  forty-five  years  old,  of  remarkable  personality  and 
amazing  command  of  language.  He  was  a  man  of  re- 
fined appearance,  with  sandy-brown  hair  and  grey  eyes, 
and  rather  classic  features.  One  of  his  chief  pleasures 
was  to  inveigh  against  churches  and  clergymen,  and  to 
mock  at  the  calling  for  which  he  had  been  educated. 
He  proclaimed  himself  an  atheist,  a  believer  in  no  church 
and  in  no  creed.  He  denounced  Christians  as  pretenders 
and  the  Christian  life  as  a  delusion  and  a  sham.  Con- 
sequently, when  Maude,  his  favourite,  became  acquainted 
with  Miss  Chapman,  a  very  fine  lady  and  sister  of  the 
Rev.  I.  M.  Chapman,  pastor  of  the  Baptist  Church  of 
Beamsville,  John  Stone  was  displeased  greatly.  As  Miss 
Chapman's  influence  over  Maude  grew,  the  young  girl 
began  to  weary  of  her  uncle's  employ  and  went  to  the 
factory  reluctantly.  At  length,  in  January,  1886,  she 
stayed  away  from  the  factory,  remaining  at  her  own 
home  with  her  mother.  John  Stone  waited  in  vain  for 
her  return.  On  January  5th  he  went  to  her  house. 
Maude   and   her   mother  were   sitting   in   the    kitchen, 


ty"*Av     *         t  ^ 


JOHN  STONE,  GENTLEMAN  237 

chatting,  about  two  o'clock  in  the  afternoon,  when  Stone 
walked  in. 

" '  Is  Asa  in  ?  '  he  asked  Mrs.  Hodge. 

"  Asa  was  out.  Mrs.  Hodge  said  he  would  return 
presently.  John  Stone  stepped  over  to  Maude,  opened 
his  coat,  drew  something  from  an  inside  pocket  and  held 
it  out  to  Maude. 

" '  Well,  Maude,  I  guess  you  and  I  will  close  issues,' 
he  said,  as  he  opened  his  coat. 

"  The  girl  saw  him  draw  forth  the  revolver  and  offer  it 
to  her.     She  shrank  back. 

"  *  Maude,  shoot  me,'  said  John  Stone,  holding  out  the 
revolver  to  her. 

"  Mrs.  Hodge  screamed  and  begged  her  brother  not  to 
shoot.  Stone,  without  a  word,  fired  three  shots  at  his 
favourite.  Mrs.  Hodge  ran  out  of  the  house  shrieking. 
As  she  ran  she  heard  a  fourth  shot,  John  Stone  had 
walked  to  the  door,  put  the  pistol  to  his  head  and  shot 
himself.  Mrs.  Hodge  and  several  of  the  neighbours 
hurried  to  the  house.  Maude  staggered  out  of  the  door 
and  fell  in  the  yard.  She  was  carried  to  the  house  of  a 
neighbour,  Mrs.  Konkle,  and  Drs.  Jessop  and  McLean 
attended  her,  locating  one  bullet  in  the  left  side  below  the 
heart  and  another  near  the  left  shoulder  blade.  Stone 
was  taken  to  his  own  home.  The  doctors  thought  both 
would  die.  Two  constables  were  set  to  guard  Stone  at 
his  own  house,  night  and  day.  He  hovered  on  the  verge 
of  death  for  five  weeks,  and  suddenly,  to  everybody's 
surprise,  he  began  to  recover.  Towards  the  middle  of 
February  the  doctors  said  he  soon  could  be  removed  to 
St.  Catherine's  gaol. 

"  I  talked  with  him  at  that  time  and  he  impressed  me 
as  one  of  the  most  fluent  talkers  I  ever  had  heard. 
Words  flowed  in  a  ceaseless,  unbroken  stream.  His 
vocabulary  was  remarkable. 

" '  It  was  a  high  ambition  ;  these  things  cannot  always 
be  accounted  for,'  he  said,  referring  to  the  shooting. 

"  In  February  a  stranger,  giving  the  name  of  Mr. 
Matthews,  arrived  in  Beamsville.  No  one  knew  who  he 
was  or  whence  he  came.     He  disappeared  as  suddenly  as 


238     MEMOIRS  OF  A  GREAT  DETECTIVE 

he  had  appeared.  John  Stone  also  disappeared.  This 
was  on  February  14th.  One  of  the  constables  guarding 
him  possibly  was  not  so  much  surprised  as  some  others 
over  his  escape.  I  went  to  Beamsville  and  traced  Stone, 
where  he  had  driven  in  a  carriage  to  Suspension  Bridge 
and  had  crossed  to  the  States  and  had  taken  a  train. 
There  I  lost  him.  I  returned  to  Beamsville  and  learned 
that  Mr.  Matthews  had  a  satchel  with  him  marked 
'  H.W.M.,  Balto.'  I  prepared  extradition  papers  and 
went  to  Baltimore  and  found  that  Hugh  W.  Matthews,  a 
rich  manufacturer,  lived  in  a  fine  mansion  at  No.  263, 
West  Lanvale  Street,  and  was  a  prominent  business  man 
of  high  standing,  in  that  city.  On  inquiry  I  ascertained 
that  he  was  a  brother-in-law  of  John  Stone.  It  was 
March  5th  when  I  arrived  in  Baltimore  and  I  called  on 
Chief  Jacob  Frey,  an  old  friend.  He  detailed  Detective 
Albert  Gait  to  assist  me.  On  March  6th  Gait  and  I 
went  to  the  Matthews's  house  and  walked  in  and  found 
John  Stone  lying  on  a  lounge  in  the  library  gazing  idly 
at  the  ceiling.  I  had  laid  an  information  before  United 
States  Commissioner  Rogers,  and  Gait  arrested  Stone. 

"  In  a  twinkling  the  whole  household,  servants  and  all, 
were  around  us  saying  John  Stone  was  ill  and  we  could 
not  take  him.  Dr.  Bacon  and  Dr.  Harvey  hurried  in, 
summoned  by  a  member  of  the  household,  and  told  us 
we  must  not  lay  a  hand  on  John  Stone,  as  it  would  en- 
danger his  life.  Discretion  was  the  better  part  of  valour. 
Stone  had  seemed  quite  comfortable  when  we  entered, 
but  he  seemed  to  sink  rapidly  in  five  minutes.  It  may 
have  been  due  to  his  earlier  love  for  the  stage  and  acting. 
I  was  satisfied  he  was  shamming,  and  I  left  Gait  with 
him  in  case  he  tried  to  escape  again.  I  went  back  to 
Police  Headquarters  and  saw  Chief  Frey  and  told  him 
what  had  happened. 

"  '  All  right,'  said  Frey.  '  If  there  he's  ill,  there  he  stays.' 
"  Frey  detailed  two  more  detectives,  Tom  Barringer 
and  Mark  Hagen,  to  join  Gait.  The  three  detectives  ar- 
ranged their  tours  of  duty  in  shifts  of  eight  hours,  and 
they  watched  John  Stone,  keeping  him  in  actual  sight 
day  and  night. 


JOHN  STONE,  GENTLEMAN  239 

"  I  called  on  Commissioner  Rogers  and  on  United 
States  Marshal  John  McClintock.  They  said  they  could 
do  nothing.  I  went  to  Washington  and  called  on  Sir 
Sackville  West,  then  British  Ambassador,  and  stated  my 
case.  Sir  Sackville  West  called  a  carriage  and  drove  me 
to  the  State  Department.  Thomas  F.  Bayard  was  Sec- 
retary of  State.  He  was  deaf  as  a  post.  We  shouted 
the  case  to  Mr.  Bayard.  He  said  he  did  not  know  what 
he  could  do  until  the  case  came  into  court.  I  returned 
to  the  British  Legation  with  Sir  Sackville,  who  was  a 
very  nice  little  gentleman.  He  advised  me  to  get  an 
American  lawyer.  He  also  gave  me  a  letter  to  Dennis 
O'Donohue,  at  Baltimore,  one  of  the  oldest  British  Con- 
suls on  the  continent.  After  leaving  Sir  Sackville  I  went 
to  call  on  my  old  friend  Senator  Daniel  W.  Voorhees, 
of  Indiana,  who  had  been  my  counsel  before  in  various 
extradition  cases  including  the  Meagher  case  in  Indian- 
apolis. He  was  living  at  The  Portland  and  was  indis- 
posed, but  he  sent  word  for  me  to  come  right  up. 

"  Three  justices  of  the  United  States  Supreme  Court 
were  calling  on  Senator  Voorhees  at  the  time.  They 
were  Justice  Gray,  Justice  Field,  and  another.  It  was 
March  22d.  Voorhees  made  me  blush  telling  the  judges 
of  old  cases  and  heaping  flattery  on  me. 

" '  What  is  it  this  time,  Murray  ?  '  he  asked.  '  Out  with 
it.  These  gentlemen  have  heard  cases  stated  before  now 
— desperate  cases,  too,  and  desperately  stated.' 

"  I  told  the  case  right  then  and  there,  the  whole  story, 
while  the  four  men,  three  justices  of  the  United  States 
Supreme  Court  and  Senator  Voorhees  listened. 

"  '  Is  he  dying  ?  '  they  asked. 

" '  I  think  he  is  feigning,'  said  I. 

" '  Suppose  he  pleads  insanity  ?  '  said  one  of  the  justices. 

" '  It  would  not  be  upheld,'  said  I. 

"  '  But  if  the  Commissioner  decided  against  you  ?  '  he 
asked. 

" '  Murray  would  appeal,  so  beware,  gentlemen,  be- 
ware,' said  Senator  Voorhees. 

"  The  three  justices  departed,  and  I  asked  Senator 
Voorhees  to  take  the  case.     He  said  he  could  not. 


240     MEMOIRS  OF  A  GREAT  DETECTIVE 

" '  But  as  an  old  friend  I'll  assist  you  in  every  way,'  he 
said. 

"  I  explained  to  him  that  Stone,  through  his  rich 
brother-in-law,  had  retained  William  Pinckney  White 
(former  Governor  of  Maryland),  ex-Judge  Garey,  W.  M. 
Simpson,  and  Governor  White's  son,  four  able  lawyers 
and  influential  men,  to  fight  his  case  for  him.  Voorhees 
instantly  told  me  not  to  be  anxious,  but  to  call  the  next 
morning  and  we  would  go  to  the  Department  of  Justice. 
I  did  so,  and  Senator  Voorhees  and  I  called  on  Attor- 
ney-General A.  H.  Garland. 

" '  Mr.  Murray  is  a  particular  friend  of  mine,  an  officer 
of  Canada,  who  has  come  here  after  a  refugee  from  justice 
named  John  Stone,'  said  Senator  Voorhees. 

"  The  Attorney-General  questioned  me,  and  I  told  him 
I  was  morally  certain  Stone  was  feigning.  Mr.  Garland 
dictated  a  letter  to  Marshal  McClintock  in  Baltimore,  and 
suggested  a  commission  of  United  States  surgeons  be  ap- 
pointed to  go  to  Baltimore  and  examine  Stone,  and  see 
if  he  could  be  removed  with  safety.  The  letter  of  the 
Attorney-General  of  the  United  States  to  Marshal  Mc- 
Clintock read : 

'  Department  of  Justice, 

'  Washington,  March  23d,  1886. 
'  1 999- 1 886. 
'  John  McClintock,  Esq., 

'  United  States  Marshal, 

1  Baltimore,  Md. 
'Sir, 

'  It  has  been  brought  to  my  attention  that  John 
Stone  is  under  arrest  on  an  application  by  the  Canadian 
authorities  for  extradition,  and  fears  are  entertained  that 
Stone  may  make  his  escape,  and  avoid  the  investigation 
necessary  to  his  extradition.  I  hope  you  will  see  to  it, 
and  take  every  precaution  to  that  end,  that  he  is  safely 
kept  until  that  examination  is  had.  You  will  spare  no 
pains  to  effect  this. 

'  I  am  more  particular  in  this  matter  than  ordinarily, 
because  last  summer,  on  an  application  by  this  Govern- 


JOHN  STONE,  GENTLEMAN  241 

merit  to  the  Canadian  authorities  for  the  extradition  of 
an  offender  against  our  laws,  every  facility  was  afforded 
us  and  everything  done  by  those  authorities  to  enable  us 
to  bring  back  the  offender,  which  we  did,  and  I  cannot 
afford  to  put  this  Government  into  the  attitude  of  lacking 
in  the  proper  comity  towards  those  people.  If  any  ad- 
ditional expense  is  necessary  to  secure  this  man's  attend- 
ance, it  will  be  paid  by  this  Department. 

'  I  have  written  to  the  Treasury  Department  that  they 
request  Surgeon  Meade  to  make  the  examination  which 
you  desire. 

1  Very  respectfully, 

'  A.  H.  Garland, 

'  Attorney-General.' 

•'  Two  United  States  surgeons  proceeded  to  Baltimore 
after  our  call  on  the  Attorney-General.  I  went  on  the 
same  train.  They  drove  to  the  Matthews'  house.  There 
they  were  joined  by  the  family  physicians,  Dr.  Bacon 
and  Dr.  Harvey,  and  two  or  three  others.  The  civilian 
doctors  already  were  in  favour  of  the  prisoner,  for  Stone 
was  a  prisoner  in  the  Matthews'  mansion.  After  the  ex- 
amination, the  opinion  of  all  the  surgeons  was  that  the 
removal  of  the  prisoner  would  be  dangerous,  and  any 
undue  excitement  might  cause  a  rush  of  blood  to  the 
head  and  rupture  a  blood  vessel,  causing  death  instantly. 
The  two  United  States  surgeons  returned  to  Washington 
and  made  a  report  to  this  effect.  I  also  returned  to 
Washington  and  saw  Voorhees,  and  induced  him  to  take 
the  case.  We  called  on  Attorney-General  Garland  again, 
and  saw  him  and  his  first  assistant,  Heber  May,  of  In- 
diana, a  friend  of  Senator  Voorhees.  Then  Senator 
Voorhees  and  I  went  to  Baltimore,  and  the  three  detect- 
ives who  were  watching  Stone  night  and  day  told  Senator 
Voorhees  that  Stone  was  feigning. 

"  Senator  Voorhees,  as  counsel,  had  a  writ  of  show 
cause  issued  on  Marshal  McClintock  to  learn  why  he 
could  not  produce  John  Stone  in  Court  before  Commis- 
sioner Rogers.  The  Marshal  appeared  with  the  affidavits 
of  the  doctors  that  Stone  could  not  be  moved.     Matters 


242         MEMOIRS  OF  A  GREAT  DETECTIVE 

went  on,  the  three  detectives  keeping  John  Stone  in  sight 
every  minute  of  the  time.  Sir  Sackville  West  sent  me  a 
private  note  to  call  on  him  at  the  Legation.  I  did  so, 
and  stated  what  had  occurred,  and  he  was  greatly  pleased 
over  what  had  been  done.  Senator  Voorhees  and  I  went 
to  Baltimore  again  and  again  and  again,  for  over  four 
months,  each  time  getting  a  show  cause  order,  to  which 
Marshal  McClintock  would  reply  with  affidavits  of  the 
doctors. 

"  In  June  I  called  on  President  Cleveland,  whom  I  had 
known  in  Buffalo. 

"  The  Department  of  Justice  ordered  a  second  com- 
mission of  United  States  surgeons  to  examine  Stone. 
They  did  so,  and  reported  that  Stone  could  be  moved 
with  safety,  from  the  fact  that  wherever  the  bullet  was,  it 
would  be  imbedded  permanently  now,  and  not  apt  to 
cause  any  trouble.  This  examination  was  held  on  Fri- 
day, July  9th,  and  the  report  was  made  the  next  day. 
Tuesday,  July  20th,  was  set  as  the  date  for  the  hearing 
before  Commissioner  Rogers.  It  was  a  memorable  hear- 
ing in  the  history  of  extradition  cases.  For  the  prosecu- 
tion appeared  United  States  Senator  Daniel  W.  Voor- 
hees, Assistant  Attorney-General  of  the  United  States 
Heber  May,  Paul  Jones,  a  nephew  of  Voorhees,  and 
United  States  District  Attorney  Thomas  Hayes.  For 
the  defence  appeared  ex-Governor  William  Pinckney 
White,  his  son,  and  ex-Judge  Garey,  and  W.  M.  Simp- 
son. The  hearing  began  on  Tuesday,  and  continued 
every  day  until  Saturday.  The  defence,  as  the  Justice 
of  the  United  States  Supreme  Court  had  foreseen,  ad- 
vanced the  plea  of  insanity.  To  this  the  prosecution 
objected,  and  very  rightly,  stating  that  was  for  a  jury, 
and  not  for  a  Commissioner,  to  determine ;  and  I  believe 
that  the  Justices  of  the  United  States  Supreme  Court 
would  have  taken  this  view  of  it.  The  defence  brought 
witnesses  and  doctors  all  the  way  from  Texas  to  prove 
John  Stone  did  remarkable  and  irrational  things. 

"  They  swore  John  Stone  imagined  at  times  that  he 
was  Napoleon,  and  that  he  rode  with  a  cloak  and  sword 
on  the  prairies,  that  he  reviewed  imaginary  armies,  and 


JOHN  STONE,  GENTLEMAN  243 

that  he  delighted  imaginary  audiences.  They  swore 
Maude  Hodge,  the  girl  whom  he  had  shot,  and  who  had 
recovered,  and  her  mother,  Mrs.  Maloma  Hodge,  who 
swore  that  on  the  day  of  the  shooting  John  Stone's  eyes 
were  like  those  of  a  raving  maniac.  Hugh  W.  Matthews 
and  Mrs.  Matthews  also  were  sworn.  When  it  came  to 
the  arguments,  a  two-horse  waggon  would  not  carry  off 
the  law  books  used  by  counsel.  I  got  a  post-graduate 
course  in  extradition  law  that  I  never  will  forget.  Com- 
missioner Rogers  decided  John  Stone  was  insane.  I 
went  to  Washington. 

" '  You'll  appeal,  won't  you,  Murray,'  said  Attorney- 
General  Garland. 

"  «  Yes,'  said  I,  '  but  I  must  see  the  Attorney-General 
of  Ontario  first.' 

"  I  returned  to  Toronto,  and  conferred  with  Premier 
Mowat.  He  thought  we  had  done  all  in  our  power,  and 
it  would  appear  too  vindictive,  as  if  we  were  after  blood, 
to  push  it  further.  If  I  had  foreseen  this  I  would  not 
have  conferred  with  him.  I  went  back  to  Washington 
to  settle  up  the  matter.  I  called  on  Senator  Voorhees, 
and  we  went  to  see  Attorney-General  Garland. 

" '  Murray's  come  here  with  a  pocketful  of  Canada 
money,'  said  Voorhees  to  Garland  jokingly.  «  What  shall 
we  do  ;  take  it  away  from  him  ? ' 

"  '  Oh,  no,'  said  Attorney-General  Garland.  '  In  re- 
spect to  our  friend,  we'll  bear  the  burden  of  these  ex- 
penses, and  his  Government  of  course  will  appreciate  the 
splendid  work  he  has  done.' 

"  Attorney-General  Garland  directed  that  all  expenses, 
the  Commissioner,  Marshal,  witnesses,  doctors,  and  de- 
tectives, amounting  to  several  thousand  dollars,  be  paid 
by  the  United  States.  The  three  detectives  were  on  duty 
watching  Stone  one  hundred  and  thirty  days.  They  re- 
ceived $5  each  a  day,  or  a  total  of  $1,950.  Chief  Frey 
and  his  staff  gave  a  banquet  for  me  before  I  left.  He 
and  his  men  stood  true  through  the  entire  case,  and  could 
not  be  swerved.  They  are  of  God's  own  people  in  the 
police  business. 

"  John  Stone  was  discharged  in  Baltimore.     He  went 


244     MEMOIRS  OF  A  GREAT  DETECTIVE 

to  Texas,  as  well  as  ever.  Two  years  later  eczema  broke 
out,  and  shortly  thereafter  he  died.  The  bullet  was  found 
imbedded  in  his  brain.  After  hearing  this,  I  investigated 
the  matter  of  foreign  substances  in  the  brain.  I  found  a 
case  reported  in  New  Hampshire  where  a  man  was  blast- 
ing, the  charge  hung  fire,  he  tampered  with  it,  and  the 
crowbar  was  blown  up  to  the  top  of  his  head,  so  that  two 
men  had  to  pull  it  out,  and  yet  he  lived.  A  German  case 
was  reported  where  a  man,  desiring  to  commit  suicide, 
drove  two  chisels  into  his  head  with  a  mallet.  They 
caused  him  such  pain  that  he  yelled,  and  help  came,  and 
pulled  them  out,  and  he  lived.  Marvellous  things  happen 
to  the  brain,  and  the  persons  still  live. 

"  The  case  of  John  Stone  was  remarkable,  not  alone 
for  the  bullet  in  the  brain.  John  Stone  was  a  remarkable 
man,  with  a  brain  full  of  stranger  things  than  bullets,  but 
we  were  entitled  to  a  jury  trial  of  his  case,  and  in  this  I 
feel  that  my  opinion  would  have  been  upheld  by  the 
Justices  of  the  Supreme  Court  of  the  United  States.  I 
do  not,  of  course,  mean  to  say  that  I  know  whereof  I 
speak.  I  heard  Stone  died  in  the  midst  of  vain  imagin- 
ings." 


XL 
BATES  OF  ALLANBURG'S  FUNERAL  PYRE 

Delusions  of  grandeur  adorned  the  closing  years  of 
the  life  of  one  of  the  picturesque  country  characters  of 
Canada.  He  was  Old  Bates  of  Allanburg.  He  lived  in 
a  comfortable  house  with  his  wife,  and  the  old  couple 
were  known  widely  in  the  county  of  Welland.  Both 
were  deaf.  Old  Bates  had  heart  disease,  and  finally 
dropsy  developed.  To  brighten  his  burdensome  days 
the  hand  of  affliction  mercifully  touched  his  mind,  and 
thereafter  the  old  man's  troubles  fell  away. 

"  Dr.  Blackstock,  of  Thorold,  attended  him  for  many 
months,"  says  Murray.  "  The  doctor's  skill  did  much  to 
make  the  old  man  comfortable.     But  he  gave  little  heed 


BATES'S  FUNERAL  PYRE  245 

to  the  actual  affairs  of  life.  He  dwelt  in  an  imaginary 
world  peopled  with  strange  beings.  He  saw  a  neighbour- 
ing farmer  passing  his  house  one  day,  and  invited  him  to 
stay  to  tea.  The  farmer  reluctantly  accepted,  lest  he 
should  offend  the  old  man.  Old  Bates  welcomed  him 
with  much  ceremony,  and  bade  him  feel  perfectly  at  home 
among  the  distinguished  guests.  All  were  personal 
friends  of  Old  Bates. 

"  '  Napoleon,'  said  Old  Bates,  speaking  to  the  cupboard, 
'  this  is  a  personal  friend  of  mine '  ;  and,  continuing  to 
the  neighbour,  he  said :  '  Shake  hands  with  the  Emperor. 
He's  a  little  fellow,  but  he's  ploughed  a  big  furrow  in  his 
day.' 

"  After  laughing  and  patting  the  imaginary  Napoleon 
on  the  back,  Old  Bates  led  the  neighbour  aside,  and  point- 
ing to  a  table  said :  '  That  black  moustached,  handsome 
man  is  a  villain  and  a  scoundrel,  and  his  weakness  is  slap- 
ping the  faces  of  sunflowers.  He  is  cruel  to  them.' 
Pointing  to  an  ironing-board  he  said :  '  That  tall  man  is  a 
gentleman.  He  and  I  often  chat  together  for  hours  in 
the  night.  He  is  in  love  with  the  moon.'  Turning 
towards  a  chair,  Old  Bates  whispered :  '  That  fellow  with 
the  red  scar  on  his  face  is  an  incendiary.  He  sets  fires  all 
over  the  world.  He  has  stopped  here  on  a  visit  to  Na- 
poleon, and  is  going  away  in  a  day  or  two.  He's  a 
very  agreeable  fellow  in  the  winter,  but  in  the  summer  he 
gets  oppressive.  That  venerable,  white-bearded  fellow 
beyond  him  is  a  prophet  and  the  son  of  a  prophet.  He 
knows  all  that  is  to  happen,  and  forgets  all  that  has  hap- 
pened. That  pale-faced  fellow  in  the  corner  is  dying  of 
fright ;  he  has  the  fear  fever.  He  is  afraid  of  everything 
he  sees,  and  of  everything  else  because  he  cannot  see  it. 
He  sleeps  with  a  lighted  candle  at  the  head  of  the  bed. 
If  the  night  wind  blows  the  candle  out  he  will  die.  I 
sympathise  with  him.  It  is  an  awful  thing  to  die  in  the 
dark.  You  cannot  see  where  you  are  going.  You  may 
stumble  into  the  wrong  world  in  the  hereafter.  Napo- 
leon says  that  he  intends  to  make  a  lantern  out  of  some 
stars  when  he  goes.' 

"  Old  Bates  chatted  confidentially  with  the  neighbour 


246     MEMOIRS  OF  A  GREAT  DETECTIVE 

and  then  with  members  of  the  invisible  company.  He 
bade  them  all  look  well  at  the  neighbour,  so  they  would 
know  him  if  they  ever  met  him  again.  Old  Bates  laughed 
with  the  imaginary  incendiary,  had  a  great  joke  with  the 
tall  gentleman,  and  engaged  in  a  thoughtful,  earnest  dis- 
cussion with  the  prophet.  The  people  of  his  imagination 
lived  and  moved  and  had  their  being  in  his  existence. 
Old  Bates  summoned  them  all  to  the  table,  and  told  them 
to  eat,  drink,  and  be  merry.  He  listened  intently  while 
the  phantom  Napoleon  told  of  great  war-fires  he  had 
kindled,  and  Old  Bates  applauded  excitedly  as  he  seemed 
to  hear  the  fiery  tale  of  flames  roaring  on  all  sides  of  an 
advancing  army,  devouring  the  land.  He  shook  hands 
enthusiastically  with  Napoleon,  and  declared  it  was  too 
bad  he  had  not  been  born  an  Englishman. 

"  The  neighbour  humoured  the  old  man,  and  after  tea 
he  went  his  way.  Old  Bates  continued  with  the  figures 
of  his  fancy,  the  old  man  ruling  a  motley  company.  He 
never  was  violent,  but  always  was  gentle  and  peaceable. 
They  entertained  him  well,  and  at  times  they  sang ;  for 
Old  Bates  suddenly  would  burst  into  rollicking  choruses 
and  clasp  hands  with  imaginary  hands  extended  out  of 
the  world  of  unreality.  The  hobby  of  the  old  man  was 
fire  or  light.  He  disliked  the  dark.  He  believed  in 
brightness  and  brilliancy,  and  a  sudden  light  or  shining 
would  delight  him. 

"On  the  morning  of  February  6th,  1886,  neighbours 
who  passed  the  house  observed  the  windows  were  bar- 
ricaded and  all  the  doors  were  shut.  There  was  no  sign 
of  Old  Bates  or  his  wife ;  but  smoke  from  the  chimney 
told  that  they  were  inside,  and  probably  getting  break- 
fast. The  barricading  was  attributed  to  the  whims  of  the 
old  man,  who  may  have  withstood  a  heavy  attack  on  his 
home  from  fancied  foes  in  the  night,  or  who  might  have 
rallied  with  Napoleon  to  fight  again  one  of  the  mighty 
battles  of  the  French  Empire. 

"  That  night  the  home  of  Old  Bates  burned.  The 
neighbours  saw  the  glare  in  the  sky  and  hastened  to  the 
house,  but  were  too  late.  It  burned  to  the  ground,  leav- 
ing a  waste  of  ashes  and  a  cellar  full  of  charred  timbers. 


BATES'S  FUNERAL  PYRE  247 

In  a  corner  of  the  cellar  sat  Old  Bates,  dead,  with  a 
butcher's  knife  in  his  hand.  Near  by  lay  Mrs.  Bates. 
She  had  been  stabbed  from  head  to  foot,  tattooed  with 
knife-jabs.  There  was  not  a  spot  on  her  body  as  large  as 
your  hand  that  had  not  been  stabbed  or  gashed  with  a 
knife. 

"  There  was  great  excitement,  of  course,  among  the 
neighbours.  They  were  divided  as  to  how  it  had  hap- 
pened. Many  believed  a  burglar  or  an  incendiary  had 
stolen  in  upon  the  old  couple  and  robbed  them,  and  mur- 
dered the  old  woman  and  thrown  the  old  man  into  the 
cellar  and  then  fired  the  house.  In  fact,  this  view  spread 
until  a  fellow  named  Neil  McKeague,  who  had  been  ap- 
prehended once  in  Chicago,  was  looked  on  as  one  who 
should  be  arrested.  I  satisfied  myself  absolutely  that  he 
was  not  near  the  Bates's  place,  and  could  not  have 
reached  there  within  some  hours  of  the  tragedy.  It  was 
difficult  to  persuade  or  convince  many  of  the  people  of 
this.  They  had  become  aroused  by  the  crime,  and  it  had 
stirred  them  out  of  their  calmer  judgment,  and  they  were 
ready  to  fasten  suspicion  or  belief  of  guilt  on  any  person 
available  for  a  culprit.  But  the  jury  took  our  view  of  it, 
and  McKeague  was  not  held  after  the  inquest. 

"  Then  came  an  incident  that  served  to  justify  fully  our 
course.  A  son  of  Mrs.  Bates  lived  at  Port  Rowan.  He 
said  that  on  the  night  of  the  fire  he  was  asleep  in  his  bed 
in  his  home  at  Port  Rowan,  when,  in  a  dream,  he  saw  his 
father  barricade  the  doors  and  windows,  then  stealthily 
approach  the  bed  where  his  wife  was  sleeping  and  drag 
her  out  and  make  her  kneel  on  the  floor  while  he  seized 
a  knife  and  stabbed  her  from  head  to  foot.  Then,  in  the 
dream,  the  old  man  set  fire  to  the  house,  his  face  bright- 
ening and  his  eyes  gleaming  as  he  saw  the  tiny  flame 
creep  over  the  floor  and  leap  up  and  lick  the  bed  and 
rush  roaring  through  the  house.  In  the  dream,  the  son 
said,  he  saw  his  mother  die ;  he  heard  her  cry  for  help ; 
he  saw  his  father,  knife  in  hand,  sit  calmly  back  and  face 
the  flames,  as  if  he  were  gazing  upon  good  friends.  The 
son  told  the  dream,  in  the  morning,  to  his  wife.  While 
he  was  telling  it,  he  said,  the  telegram  came  informing 


248     MEMOIRS  OF  A  GREAT  DETECTIVE 

him  of  the  fire,  and  of  the  finding  of  the  bodies  of  Mrs. 
Bates  and  Old  Bates.  The  son  said  the  bodies  were 
found  precisely  as  he  had  seen  them  in  the  dream. 

"  This  statement  of  the  dream  by  the  son  was  accepted 
as  absolutely  true  by  many  of  the  people,  and  it  put  an 
end  to  any  talk  that  an  outsider  had  fired  the  house. 
Some  of  the  country  folk  travelled  miles  to  hear  this 
story,  and  some  looked  upon  the  dream  as  a  revelation 
to  the  son  in  order  to  prevent  the  arrest  or  trial  of  an  in- 
nocent man. 

"  In  this  case  I  had  some  remarkable  illustrations  of 
the  inaccuracy  of  the  average  man  or  woman's  descrip- 
tion of  a  person.  Even  when  they  know  a  person  well, 
they  fail  to  describe  the  person  perfectly.  In  the  Bates 
case,  for  instance,  I  had  descriptions  of  Bates  himself,  in 
which  he  had  a  full  beard,  was  smooth-shaven,  had  white 
hair,  had  black  hair,  was  six  feet  tall,  was  four  feet  tall, 
walked  with  a  crutch,  had  one  leg,  had  one  eye,  and  so 
on.  Many  folk  are  inclined  to  agree  to  your  question, 
that  is,  to  answer  it  in  the  affirmative.  I  remember  that 
at  some  of  the  places  I  stopped  I  tried  this,  and  the  an- 
swers were  '  yes  '  almost  invariably. 

"  '  He  had  a  black  moustache,  had  he  ? '  I  asked,  about 
a  supposed  stranger  seen  a  week  before  in  that  part  of  the 
country. 

"  «  Yes,'  was  the  reply. 

"  '  And  he  had  a  big  scar  over  his  left  eye?'  I  asked 
eagerly. 

"  '  Yes,'  was  the  reply. 

"'And  his  hair  was  purplish  over  the  forehead?'  I 
went  on  excitedly. 

" '  Yes,  kind  of  purplish,'  was  the  reply. 

'"On  his  left  hand  he  had  a  sixth  finger?'  I  ex- 
claimed. 

" '  Yes,  on  his  left  hand,'  was  the  reply. 

"  It  was  all  imaginary,  of  course.  They  meant  well, 
and  probably  desired  to  be  obliging,  or  did  not  wish  to 
disappoint  me.  This  incident  supplies  an  exaggerated 
illustration  of  what  I  mean.  If  you  should  doubt  the 
accuracy   of  this   observation,  select   six   acquaintances 


A  SPREADER  OF  ARSENIC  249 

whom  you  know  fairly  well — not  your  most  intimate 
friends,  but  six  whom  you  see  frequently.  Jot  down  de- 
tailed descriptions  of  them  in  their  absence  ;  as  to  height, 
weight,  colour  of  eyes  and  hair,  and  marks  like  visible 
scars  or  birth-marks.  Then  compare  these  descriptions 
with  the  originals.  The  test  will  be  full  of  surprises.  I 
have  met  people,  on  the  other  hand,  who  had  a  mere 
casual  glance  at  a  stranger,  yet  gave  a  description  simply 
perfect  in  its  accuracy  and  completeness  of  detail. 

"  The  Bates  case  had  no  outsider  in  it.  Old  Bates  did 
it  alone.  He  may  have  been  in  the  clutches  of  one  of 
his  invisible  company  at  the  time.  The  incendiary  who 
set  fires  all  over  the  world  may  have  overpowered  him. 
The  villain  who  slapped  the  faces  of  sunflowers  may 
have  seized  the  butcher's  knife  and  stabbed  the  old 
woman.  The  pale-faced  fellow  with  the  fever  of  fear 
upon  him  may  have  appealed  to  Old  Bates  not  to  let  him 
die  in  the  dark.  The  old  man  may  have  yielded  to  the 
plea  and  summoned  Napoleon,  and  sat  back  calmly  to 
face  death,  delighted  that  he  also  did  not  have  to  die  in 
the  dark." 


XLI 

A  SPREADER  OF  ARSENIC 

Cattle  poisoning  in  Canada  is  a  crime  certain  to  be 
punished  severely.  Some  of  the  finest  cattle  in  the 
world  are  bred  in  Ontario,  and  the  province  is  watchful 
in  its  protection  of  them.  Near  Cortland  village,  in  the 
county  of  Norfolk,  in  1886,  Dr.  McKay,  a  breeder  and 
raiser  of  fancy  stock,  had  a  choice  herd  on  a  large  tract 
of  land.  There  were  beauties  in  the  herd,  and  the  doctor 
justly  was  proud  of  them. 

"  In  the  spring  of  that  year  a  number  of  the  doctor's 
fine  cattle  died  suddenly,"  says  Murray.  "  They  had  not 
been  sick  or  off  their  feed,  and  their  unexpected  death 
immediately  aroused  the  doctor's  suspicions.     A  week 


250     MEMOIRS  OF  A  GREAT  DETECTIVE 

later,  more  of  the  cattle  died  in  the  same  manner.  They 
dropped  as  if  struck  by  invisible  lightning.  The  doctor 
notified  the  department.  I  suspected  poisoning,  and 
went  to  investigate.  I  obtained  the  viscera  of  some  of 
the  cattle,  and  had  an  analysis  made,  and  it  revealed  the 
presence  of  arsenic  in  large  quantities.  That  proved 
positively  the  poisoning  theory.  The  probable  way  for 
giving  arsenic  would  be  with  the  salt.  Cattle  love  salt, 
and  when  it  is  sprinkled  on  the  ground  they  will  lick  the 
earth  to  get  it.  The  traces  of  salt  were  not  easily  found 
when  I  arrived,  but  I  discovered  one  spot  that  still 
showed  traces  of  it,  and  I  carefully  dug  it  up,  and  had 
the  top  of  the  earth  analysed,  and  faint  traces  of  arsenic 
were  found.  In  some  of  the  spots  where  the  cattle  had 
fallen  dead  the  grass  had  been  licked  to  the  ground. 

"  All  that  summer  the  cattle  kept  dying.  They  would 
go  out  in  the  morning  healthy  and  strong,  and  suddenly 
drop  dead  in  the  field  or  by  the  roadside.  I  talked  with 
Dr.  McKay,  and  asked  him  if  he  ever  had  any  quarrel  or 
trouble  with  a  neighbour.  He  recalled  one  man,  Robert 
Morrow,  who  lived  near,  and  who  formerly  had  taken 
contracts  from  the  doctor  for  draining  or  otherwise  im- 
proving the  doctor's  land.  On  one  occasion,  a  year  or 
more  before,  Morrow  became  dissatisfied  over  a  contract, 
and  sued  the  doctor.  Dr.  McKay  said  he  had  offered  to 
leave  the  matter  to  arbitration  or  to  one  or  three  of  the 
neighbours,  but  Morrow  wanted  law,  and  told  the  doctor 
that  if  he  did  not  pay  him  what  he  asked  he  would  get 
even  with  him.  Months  passed,  and  suddenly  the 
doctor's  cattle  began  to  die. 

"  I  met  Morrow  casually,  and  I  did  not  like  his  looks. 
I  placed  two  men  to  watch  Morrow  all  that  summer. 
The  months  went  by,  and  they  could  not  catch  him. 
The  cattle  kept  dying,  and  finally  in  December  of  that 
year  I  went  to  Cortland,  and  took  up  the  matter  of  Mor- 
row's actions.  There  was  no  spot  near  his  house  con- 
venient for  hiding  except  a  tree.  So  I  sent  a  man,  who 
slipped  up  in  the  twilight,  and  climbed  the  tree,  and 
waited.  For  three  nights  I  did  this  unknown  to  any  one, 
and  Morrow  never  so  much  as  stuck  his  head  out  of  the 


A  SPREADER  OF  ARSENIC  251 

door.  On  the  fourth  night,  after  one  o'clock  in  the 
morning,  my  watcher  heard  the  door  open  softly,  and  a 
figure  slipped  out  and  started  along  in  the  shadow  of  the 
fence.  My  watcher  waited  until  he  was  well  started,  and 
then  slid  down  out  of  the  tree.  As  he  began  to  slide  his 
coat  caught  and  held  him.  It  was  a  lucky  catch,  for,  as 
he  drew  himself  up,  he  saw  the  figure  stealthily  sneaking 
round  the  house.  It  was  Morrow,  and  he  was  investi- 
gating his  own  premises  to  make  sure  he  was  not  being 
watched.  The  watcher  sat  silent  on  his  perch  in  the  tree 
and  saw  him  enter  the  house,  then  reappear,  carrying  a 
small  bag.  He  glided  away  in  the  darkness,  and  my  man 
followed.  The  pursuer  fancied  he  heard  him  once,  but 
was  careful  not  to  crowd  upon  him.  The  result  was,  he 
lost  him. 

"  Along  a  fence  near  McKay's  he  disappeared,  and  the 
watcher  crawled  to  and  fro,  looking  for  him  in  vain.  At 
length  he  gave  him  up,  and  crept  out  into  McKay's  field, 
and  there  came  upon  newly  laid  salt.  In  fact,  he  had  his 
hands  in  it  before  he  discovered  it.  He  carefully  brushed 
up  enough  to  fill  a  cup.  This  he  put  in  a  bag,  and 
tucked  away  in  his  pocket.  Then  he  went  to  McKay's, 
and  told  them  not  to  turn  out  any  cattle  in  that  particular 
field.  It  was  daylight  when  he  reported  to  me.  I  started 
at  once  to  Morrow's. 

"  Morrow  was  standing  outside  when  I  approached  the 
house. 

"  '  Good-morning,'  said  I. 

"  '  Morning  to  you,'  said  he.     '  Nice  day.' 

"  '  Fine,'  said  I.  '  By  the  way,  where  did  this  salt  in 
McKay's  field  come  from  ? '  and  I  produced  the  bag. 

"  Morrow  gasped,  then  paled — I  almost  pitied  him. 
He  stared,  and  shook  like  a  man  with  the  ague.  I  waited. 
He  twitched,  and  shivered,  and  gasped. 

"  '  Are  you  ill  ?  '  I  asked  him. 

" •  I  don't  feel  well  this  morning,'  said  he.  '  Bilious  ; 
bad  stomach ;  indigestion.' 

"  *  Ah  ! '  said  I.  «  Salt's  just  the  thing.  Nothing  like 
salt  to  fix  the  stomach.  Have  some  ?  '  and  I  held  up  the 
bag. 


2$2     MEMOIRS  OF  A  GREAT  DETECTIVE 

"  Morrow  shrank  as  if  I  had  offered  to  shoot  him 
through  the  heart.  He  clapped  one  hand  to  his  mouth, 
and  suddenly  began  to  hiccup.  He  actually  grew  sick, 
gulping  like  a  landlubber  in  a  heavy  sea.  I  pocketed 
the  salt  and  went  over  to  him. 

" '  Some  of  this  salt  was  on  the  food  you  ate  for  break- 
fast,' I  said,  for  he  was  so  flustered  he  did  not  know  what 
was  coming  next.     '  You  must  have  eaten  it.' 

"  He  writhed  and  moaned.  He  verily  seemed  to  fear 
he  had  been  poisoned.  While  he  retched  and  groaned  I 
searched  his  house  and  found  arsenic.  I  arrested  him, 
and  told  him  to  stop  belching,  as  he  was  not  going  to 
die.  He  was  as  relieved  as  a  man  reprieved  on  the  gal- 
lows. The  black  cap  of  death  seemed  lifted  from  his 
head  when  he  learned  he  had  not  eaten  of  the  salt  he  had 
poisoned. 

"  I  took  Morrow  to  Simcoe  gaol,  and  on  December 
22d  he  was  committed  for  trial.  He  was  tried  before 
Judge  Matthew  Crooks  Cameron  at  the  Spring  Assizes  in 
1887,  and  was  sent  to  Kingston  Penitentiary  for  seven 
years.  I  not  only  had  the  evidence  of  the  arsenic  in  his 
house,  but  I  learned  also  where  he  bought  the  arsenic. 
Dr.  McKay  lost  over  fifty  head  of  cattle,  but  all  of  them 
combined  did  not  suffer  agonies  equal  to  those  endured 
by  Morrow  on  the  morning  he  retched  and  moaned  in 
the  belief  that  he  had  eaten  of  his  own  poisoned  mess. 
It  was  drastic,  but  deserved.  Morrow  had  an  im- 
aginary taste  of  his  own  mixing.  It  stirred  him  to  the 
innermost  parts  of  his  being.  He  almost  gave  up  the 
ghost." 


XLII 

FOR  A  MESS  OF  POTTAGE 

Ben  Hagaman  was  his  mother's  pet.  She  coddled 
him  as  a  child,  and  pampered  him  as  a  youth.  His 
father  was  a  rich  merchant  of  Ridgetown,  Ontario,  and 


FOR  A  MESS  OF  POTTAGE  253 

his  brother-in-law  was  a  prosperous,  successful  business 
man.  His  uncle  was  Benjamin  Hagaman,  the  Chicago 
millionaire,  who  was  a  bachelor,  and  after  whom  young 
Ben  had  been  named. 

"  Young  Ben  stood  to  inherit  old  Ben's  fortune,"  says 
Murray.  "  He  was  a  sunny-tempered,  merry,  good- 
looking,  likeable  young  fellow,  and  his  shrewd,  rich  old 
uncle  was  very  fond  of  him.  All  Ben  needed  to  do  was 
to  learn  the  ways  of  business  under  his  uncle's  super- 
vision, and  in  due  time  he  would  inherit  millions.  Young 
Ben  knew  this.  His  uncle  took  him  when  he  was  of  age 
and  taught  him  something  of  business,  and  in  the  course 
of  giving  him  practical  experience  old  Ben  sent  young 
Ben  out  to  Fargo,  North  Dakota,  and  made  him  paying 
teller  in  his  bank  there.  Young  Ben  seemed  to  do  well, 
but  one  day  he  unexpectedly  returned  to  Canada  and 
settled  down  again  at  the  old  home.  No  word  came 
from  old  Ben,  and  no  explanation  was  given  by  young 
Ben.  In  due  time  young  Ben  had  married,  and  had  two 
children. 

"  Sir  William  P.  Howland,  of  Toronto,  ex-Lieutenant- 
Governor  of  the  Province,  met  young  Ben.  Sir  William 
was  the  head  of  Howland,  Jones  &  Co.,  and  had  large 
flour  mills  at  Thorold.  He  needed  a  bookkeeper  there, 
and  when  young  Ben,  son  of  the  rich  Ridgetown  mer- 
chant and  nephew  of  the  Chicago  multi-millionaire, 
applied  to  him,  he  employed  Ben  in  the  capacity  not 
only  of  bookkeeper,  but  confidential  clerk  at  the  Thorold 
mills.  Sir  William  instructed  young  Ben  to  keep  an  eye 
on  Sir  William's  partner,  who  was  as  honest  a  man  as  the 
sun  ever  shone  upon.  Young  Ben  nodded  wisely,  aware 
instantly  that  Sir  William  might  distrust  his  partner 
despite  their  close  relations. 

"  Young  Ben  quickly  familiarised  himself  with  his 
duties.  He  learned  that  grain  was  bought  by  the  car- 
load, and  was  paid  for  by  cheques  drawn  by  the  book- 
keeper and  signed  by  Mr.  Jones,  Sir  William's  partner. 
Young  Ben  was  deft  with  a  pen.  After  the  arrival  of  a 
consignment  of  grain  valued  at  $470,  young  Ben  wrote 
out  a  cheque  with  a  little  interval  after  the  *  four  '  in  the 


254     MEMOIRS  OF  A  GREAT  DETECTIVE 

*  four  hundred  and  seventy.'  He  took  the  cheque  to  Mr. 
Jones,  who  signed  it  as  usual.  Young  Ben  then  took  the 
signed  cheque  and  added  '  teen  '  to  the  '  four,'  making  it 
read  '  fourteen  hundred  and  seventy,'  and  put  a  '  I  '  after 
the  '  $ '  before  the  '  470/  making  it  $1,470,  and  thereby 
raising  the  cheque  $1,000.  He  arranged  the  indorsement 
also,  and  sent  it  through  the  bank.  Between  September 
and  December,  1886,  young  Ben  did  this  sixteen  times, 
getting  $1,000  each  time,  or  $16,000,  apart  from  the 
amount  actually  due  for  grain.  On  December  20th  he 
went  away,  saying  he  would  be  back  on  the  22d.  He  did 
not  return,  and  the  firm's  balance  at  the  bank  showed 
$16,000  missing.  Before  disappearing  Ben  made  a  fare- 
well visit  to  Toronto,  where  he  bought  some  elegant 
jewellery  from  W.  P.  Ellis,  including  some  costly  dia- 
monds. Part  of  the  jewellery  he  succeeded  in  obtaining 
on  credit. 

"  Sir  William  was  dumfounded.  He  could  not  bring 
himself  to  believe  that  young  Ben  had  robbed  him.  Yet 
there  were  the  cheques,  each  for  $1,000  more  than  the 
proper  amount.  Mr.  Jones  was  sure  they  had  been 
raised  after  he  had  signed  them.  Finally  the  matter 
came  to  my  attention,  and  on  January  24th,  1887,  I  took 
it  up.  I  first  learned  that  old  Ben,  the  Chicago  million- 
aire, had  washed  his  hands  of  his  precious  namesake  after 
young  Ben  had  made  away  with  some  $4,000  or  $5,000 
not  belonging  to  him  in  the  Fargo  bank.  Old  Ben  had 
said  that  ended  it  between  him  and  his  nephew,  and  he 
had  packed  young  Ben  back  home.  If  young  Ben  had 
straightened  out  and  worked  steadily,  old  Ben  would  have 
taken  him  again,  for  the  uncle  was  fond  of  the  nephew, 
and  was  greatly  pleased  when  young  Ben  went  to  work 
for  Sir  William  P.  Howland. 

"  I  traced  young  Ben  to  Michigan,  then  to  Chicago, 
and  then  to  Denver.  He  had  money,  and  spent  it  freely. 
He  started  out  as  B.  Hatfield,  then  he  became  W.  T. 
Schufeldt,  then  he  called  himself  Frank  Bruce,  and  next  he 
was  masquerading  as  J.  Peter  Sonntag.  I  telegraphed 
his  description  all  over  the  country,  and  heard  from  him 
under  these  names  as  having  been  in  these  places.     His 


FOR  A  MESS  OF  POTTAGE  255 

description  was  such  that  it  was  easy  to  identify  him  ;  and 
so  long  as  he  had  money  he  would  be  in  public  places, 
for  he  was  a  lavish  spender,  a  high  liver,  and  a  gay  sport. 
The  love  of  high  living  was  one  of  the  roots  of  his  evil. 
I  conferred  with  the  Pinkerton  people,  who  also  were 
looking  for  young  Ben,  and  finally  I  prepared  extradition 
papers  and  started  for  the  States,  and  Ben  was  arrested 
in  San  Francisco  as  he  was  taking  steamer  to  leave  the 
country.  Instead  of  J.  Peter  Sonntag,  or  any  of  his  other 
aliases,  Ben  at  this  time  gave  the  name  of  plain  P.  Sontag. 
"  Benny  Peter  Sontag  Hagaman  had  been  living  a 
merry  life  in  San  Francisco.  He  was  a  thoroughbred  in 
the  Pacific  coast  city.  He  frequented  Patsy  Hogan's, 
and  was  in  with  the  swiftest  boys  in  the  town.  He  had 
hired  a  box  in  a  safety  vault  in  a  trust  company,  and  had 
deposited  in  it  thousands  of  dollars  in  cash,  and  a  lot  of 
diamonds  and  jewellery.  I  arrived  in  San  Francisco  on 
February  1st.  Sir  William  P.  Howland  had  telegraphed 
to  some  friend  of  his  to  engage  counsel.  His  friend  had 
engaged  Davis  Louderback,  and  he  did  not  prove  very 
satisfactory.  I  appeared  on  February  2d  before  United 
States  Commissioner  Sawyer.  Ben  was  arraigned,  and 
remanded  for  eight  days.  He  prepared  to  fight  extra- 
dition, and  W.  W,  Bishop  defended  him.  Bishop,  Ben's 
lawyer,  and  Louderback,  my  lawyer,  hired  by  Sir 
William's  friend,  visited  the  prisoner  several  times  in 
gaol.  Everything  uttered  before  the  Commissioner  was 
ordered  to  be  taken  down,  until  there  were  volumes  of 
evidence.  Ben  was  remanded  for  extradition,  and  I  was 
informed  the  papers  had  gone  to  Washington  for  the 
warrant  of  surrender.  I  waited  and  heard  nothing,  and 
promptly  telegraphed  to  the  British  Legation  at  Wash- 
ington that  the  forms  of  the  treaty  had  been  complied 
with  and  copies  of  the  proceedings  had  been  sent  to  the 
State  Department,  and  I  asked  that  the  warrant  of  sur- 
render be  sent  to  me  as  soon  as  possible.  Sir  Sackville 
West  replied  that  inquiry  at  the  State  Department  showed 
no  papers  had  arrived  there  in  the  case,  and  the  Depart- 
ment knew  nothing  of  it.  I  called  on  Louderback,  and 
got  very  little  satisfaction  out  of  him. 


256     MEMOIRS  OF  A  GREAT  DETECTIVE 

"  I  then  called  on  Commissioner  Sawyer.  He  was  a 
nephew  of  Judge  Sawyer.  He  said  the  papers  had  not 
been  sent  to  Washington,  and  had  to  be  paid  for  before 
they  would  be  transmitted.  He  said  the  charge  was  $\  50. 
I  told  him  I  would  pay  if  he  would  give  me  an  itemised 
bill.  He  refused,  but  finally  gave  me  a  receipt  for  $150. 
The  papers  were  so  bulky  that  the  postage  on  them  was 
$11.  The  postmaster  was  quite  unlike  some  of  the  other 
people  I  met  in  San  Francisco,  and  he  treated  me  most 
courteously,  and  franked  the  papers  for  me,  which  the 
Commissioner  had  refused  to  do. 

"  While  I  was  waiting  for  the  warrant  of  surrender  to 
arrive  from- Washington,  I  began  to  puzzle  over  what 
further  steps  might  be  taken  to  get  young  Ben  out.  I 
knew  that  the  money  he  had  would  be  of  great  value  to 
him  in  this  emergency,  and  I  finally  concluded  that  it 
was  quite  possible  for  young  Ben  to  be  brought  in  on  a 
writ  of  habeas  corpus  and  discharged  without  my  knowl- 
edge, in  the  event  of  a  failure  of  counsel  to  notify  me. 
So  I  went  over  the  heads  of  all  the  lawyers  and  lesser 
officials,  and  called  on  Judges  Sawyer  and  Hofman  and 
stated  the  whole  case  to  them,  explaining  how  I  consid- 
ered I  was  handicapped.  They  told  me  there  would  be 
no  discharge  of  young  Ben  on  a  writ  of  habeas  corpus, 
and  I  breathed  easier.  The  warrant  of  surrender  had 
arrived,  and  on  March  26th  I  left  San  Francisco,  with 
young  Ben.  Before  leaving  I  began  a  civil  suit  to  return 
the  money  and  diamonds  which  the  police  meanwhile 
had  taken  into  their  keeping.  I  had  Sir  William  P. 
Howland  employ  other  counsel,  and  they  recovered  over 
$5,000. 

"  When  young  Ben  arrived  home  he  was  released  on 
$8,000  bail,  pending  his  trial.  He  came  to  Toronto 
while  he  was  out  on  bail,  and  called  on  me  for  advice. 
He  asked  me  what  he  had  better  do  under  the  circum- 
stances. He  wanted  my  honest  opinion,  so  I  gave  him 
a  gentle  hint. 

"'Ben,'  said  I,  'you  have  spent  $11,000  of  another 
man's  money,  and  you  have  put  him  to  great  trouble. 
Your   father  is  rich,  your  brother-in-law  is   rich,  your 


FOR  A  MESS  OF  POTTAGE  257 

uncle  is  a  millionaire.  The  other  man  wants  his  money. 
If  you  want  to  go  to  the  penitentiary,  don't  pay  him ; 
but  if  you  want  to  keep  out  of  the  penitentiary ' 

"'What!  Pay  old  Howland  $11,000?'  said  young 
Ben,  and  he  laughed  uproariously.  '  Not  on  your  life. 
I'll  beat  Sir  Bill,  and  I'll  not  go  to  the  penitentiary 
either.' 

"  Foolish  young  man !  I  told  him  so  at  the  time. 
But  he  was  at  the  age  when  all  who  are  younger  have  it 
to  learn,  and  all  who  are  older  have  forgotten  what  they 
once  knew.  He  went  his  way,  pig-headed,  obstinate, 
self-willed,  and  a  fool — a  pleasant,  bright,  intelligent, 
likeable  fool.  His  trial  came  on  at  the  Spring  Assizes 
in  1888.  Colin  Macdougall,  an  able  lawyer,  defended 
him ;  but  he  was  prosecuted  by  one  of  the  most  bril- 
liant criminal  lawyers  Canada  has  produced,  the  late 
B.  B.  Osier.  Young  Ben  was  convicted,  and  was  sent 
to  the  Kingston  Penitentiary  for  seven  years. 

"  I  saw  him  once  or  twice  in  the  penitentiary.  One  of 
the  old-time  Sunday-school  texts  was  '  The  way  of  the 
transgressor  is  hard.'  Young  Ben  had  it  on  the  wall  of 
his  cell.  It  certainly  was  true  of  him.  He  came  of  a 
refined,  rich  family,  in  which  he  was  the  mother's  darling 
and  a  spoiled  child.  He  was  to  inherit  millions,  and  he 
sold  his  birthright  for  a  mess  of  pottage.  He  stole 
$4,000  and  then  $16,000,  and  thereby  sold  more  than 
$1,000,000  for  $20,000,  of  which  he  had  to  repay  over 
$5,000.  So  he  forfeited  a  fortune  for  $15,000.  There 
was  no  need  for  him  to  steal.  He  had  all  of  life's  good 
things  essential  to  the  joy  of  living — a  happy  home,  a 
fine  family,  a  lucrative  position,  and  good  health.  After 
he  fled  his  two  little  children  died,  and  after  he  went  to 
the  penitentiary  his  wife  got  a  divorce,  and  remarried  ; 
and  when  he  came  out  into  the  world  and  his  uncle  died, 
leaving  no  will,  instead  of  finding  himself  a  millionaire 
he  left  Canada  a  branded  man.  It  was  an  awful  lesson. 
It  began  simply  in  a  love  for  gay  company,  and  it  ended 
in  solitude  in  a  stone-walled  cell." 


258      MEMOIRS  OF  A  GREAT  DETECTIVE 

XLIII 

«  SHET-BLACK  HERRES  OF  THE  DING-DONG 

MUSTACHEES  " 

A  sing-song  voiced,  jet-black  haired,  sanctimonious 
scalawag  named  J.  K.  Herres  lived  near  Elmira  in  the 
county  of  Waterloo.  His  father  kept  a  country  store, 
and  was  reputed  to  be  fairly  well  off.  When  young 
Herres  was  not  teaching  a  little  school  or  singing  Ger- 
man songs  he  was  gallivanting  about  the  country.  He 
had  a  profuse  rush  of  hair  to  the  upper  lip,  and  he 
developed  a  particular  fondness  for  twirling  the  drooping 
ends  of  his  mustaches.  He  seemed  so  insipid  that  one 
never  would  have  imagined  him  to  be  the  child  of  destiny 
in  a  stirring  event  where  a  whole  town  turned  out  to 
rescue  him,  while  his  captor,  with  drawn  guns,  backed 
against  a  wall  with  Herres  at  his  feet,  and  prepared  to 
sell  his  life  as  dearly  as  possible. 

"  Herres  frequently  went  to  Gait  in  his  Lochinvarring 
tours,"  says  Murray.  "  In  the  summer  of  1887  he  walked 
into  the  office  of  John  Cavers,  manager  of  the  branch  of 
the  Imperial  Bank  at  Gait,  and  presented  two  notes  to 
be  discounted.  One  was  signed  by  Peter  Leweller,  a 
neighbour  of  the  Herres  family,  and  the  other  by  Herres's 
father.  They  totalled  $900,  and  Mr.  Cavers  discounted 
them.  Herres  vanished  with  the  money.  Old  man 
Herres  and  Peter  Leweller  pronounced  their  signatures 
forgeries.  The  case  came  to  me,  and  on  September  22d 
I  went  to  Gait,  saw  Manager  Cavers,  and  thence  went  to 
Berlin,  the  county  seat  of  Waterloo.  There  I  prepared 
extradition  papers,  and  obtained  from  Chief  Constable 
John  Klippert,  of  Waterloo,  a  description  of  Herres. 
Klippert  was  one  of  the  best  constables  in  Canada,  a 
shrewd  old  German. 

"  '  Shon,'  he  said  to  me, '  you  vill  know  him  two  ways, 
one  by  his  shet-black  hair  and  one  by  his  ding-dong 
mustachees.  He  has  some  of  the  loftiest  mustachees  you 
efer  see.  They  flow  down  like  Niagara  Falls,  only  they, 
too,  are  shet-black/ 


"  THE  DING-DONG  MUSTACHEES  "       259 

"  *  But  suppose  he  has  shaved  them  off? '  I  said. 

"  '  You  vill  know  t'em  by  the  place  where  they  once 
used  to  be/  said  Kiippert.  '  And  remember — shet- 
black ! ' 

"  I  telegraphed  all  over  the  country  for  a  trace  of 
Herres,  and  found  none.  I  learned  that  he  had  a  cousin 
who  was  a  lawyer  at  White  Cloud,  in  Minnesota,  and 
Shet-black  Herres,  as  I  called  him  ever  after  hearing 
Klippert's  description,  had  been  in  correspondence  with 
this  cousin,  whose  address  was  found  in  an  old  coat  be- 
longing to  Herres.  I  decided  to  visit  White  Cloud.  On 
September  28th  I  started  for  St.  Paul.  On  arrival  there 
I  called  at  Police  Headquarters  and  on  United  States 
Commissioner  Spencer,  and  prepared  the  necessary 
warrant  for  Herres,  if  I  should  find  him.  I  also  called 
on  my  friend  United  States  Marshal  Campbell,  who  gave 
me  a  letter  to  Congressman  C.  F.  McDonald,  of  White 
Cloud,  a  prominent  man  in  that  part  of  the  country.  I 
went  to  White  Cloud  and  looked  up  the  cousin  of  Herres. 
I  learned  from  neighbours  that  the  cousin  had  a  visitor 
sometime  before,  a  dapper  fellow  with  a  remarkably  fine 
mustache.  He  had  tarried  only  a  few  days,  and  then 
had  driven  away.  He  had  not  shaved  it  off  was  my  glad 
thought.  I  called  on  Congressman  McDonald,  and  he 
gave  me  letters  to  prominent  people  within  a  radius  of  a 
couple  of  hundred  miles.  Part  of  the  country  round 
about  was  thinly  settled  at  that  time.  I  set  out  to  find 
the  man  with  the  fine  mustache. 

"  It  was  like  looking  for  a  needle  in  a  haystack.  I 
travelled  all  around  the  country.  I  saw  more  smooth- 
shaven  men  and  more  men  with  beards  than  I  imagined 
were  in  that  part  of  the  country,  but  not  one  man  with 
'  ding-dong  mustachees '  did  I  see.  I  returned  to  White 
Cloud  without  clue  or  trace  of  my  man.  I  learned  then 
of  a  settlement  of  Germans  at  Little  Falls,  and  I  remem- 
bered what  I  had  heard  of  Herres's  fondness  for  German 
songs;  and  one  man  in  White  Cloud  thought  Herres's 
cousin  had  a  relative  in  this  settlement.  Little  Falls  was 
several  hundred  miles  from  St.  Paul,  and  I  arrived  there 
on  October  4th.     It  was  a  little  place  of  about  one  thou- 


260     MEMOIRS  OF  A  GREAT  DETECTIVE 

sand  people,  and  I  think  I  saw  everybody  in  the  town. 
I  found  no  trace  of  Herres  and  was  about  to  give  up  the 
chase  there,  when  the  school-teaching  side  of  Herres 
came  again  to  my  mind.  The  idea  struck  me  to  try  the 
schools.  I  did  so — no  Herres.  But  there  were  country 
schools.  I  called  on  a  storekeeper  who  was  one  of  the 
school  trustees.  Yes,  some  teachers  had  been  employed 
for  country  schools.  The  clerk  of  the  school  board  lived 
near  by,  he  said,  and  I  should  see  him.  To  the  clerk  I 
went.  He  immediately  wanted  to  know  the  names  of 
the  teachers  I  sought.  I  said  I  did  not  recall  the  names. 
He  said  two  teachers  had  been  appointed  to  little  rural 
schools  about  forty  miles  out  in  the  country.  Both 
teachers  were  strangers  to  him.  He  gave  me  their 
names.     Neither  was  named  Herres. 

" '  One  was  smooth-shaven,  one  I  did  not  see,'  he  said. 

"  I  decided  to  look  at  the  two  teachers.  There  was  a 
big  fellow  named  Richardson  in  the  town,  a  sort  of  mar- 
shal or  town  policeman  or  constable.  He  said  he  knew 
the  country  all  around  there,  as  he  had  been  born  there. 
I  hired  a  splendid  team  from  a  liveryman,  a  pair  of  as 
good  horses  as  a  man  could  wish  to  drive,  with  a  light 
cracky  waggon.  The  liveryman  lent  me  his  gun  and 
shooting  jacket,  cartridge  belt  and  two  valuable  dogs. 
I  told  Richardson  we  were  going  shooting.  Prairie 
chickens  were  thicker  than  flies.  We  started  on 
Wednesday,  October  5th.  We  drove  about  twenty 
miles  to  the  crossroads  of  nowhere.  It  was  dark  when 
we  trotted  out  of  Little  Falls,  and  we  breakfasted  at  a 
crossroads  store  on  the  way.  I  told  Richardson,  after 
we  were  well  on  the  road,  the  real  purpose  of  my  trip. 
It  seemed  to  make  him  as  solemn  as  an  owl.  He  was  a 
jolly  hunter,  but  a  solemn  policeman.  Many  men  are 
that  way.  Their  business  is  something  awesome  or 
deadly  serious,  but  apart  from  it  they  are  good  fellows. 

"  At  length  we  came  to  the  first  school.  The  teacher 
was  a  little  fellow,  a  Frenchman,  and  he  could  not  speak 
German.  He  was  not  Herres,  and  we  drove  on  to  the 
next  district  school.  The  little  Frenchman  told  me  of 
the  teacher. 


"THE  DING-DONG  MUSTACHEES"       261 

"  '  He  has  ze  long  moostache,'  he  said.  '  Very  fine, 
oh  very  fine.  Ze  long  moostache,  and  I  haf  ze  no 
moostache  at  all,'  and  he  clasped  his  hands  and  sighed. 

"  I  was  sure  the  other  teacher  was  Herres.  When  we 
came  in  sight  of  the  school  I  unhitched  the  horses  and 
tied  them,  and  cut  across  towards  the  schoolhouse. 

"  '  If  this  is  the  fellow,  I  will  nod  to  you  and  you  arrest 
him,'  I  said  to  Richardson. 

"  '  I  have  no  authority,'  he  said, '  and  I  will  not  arrest 
a  man  without  authority,'  and  I  saw  he  meant  it. 

" '  Richardson,'  I  said  solemnly,  'lama  United  States 
Marshal.  I  hereby  declare  you  my  deputy.  You  must 
obey  the  law  and  serve.' 

" '  But  I  must  be  sworn  in,'  said  Richardson. 

"  I  pulled  out  a  bundle  of  papers,  ran  over  them, 
selected  one  and  told  him  to  kneel  down.  He  knelt 
amid  the  briers.     I  mumbled  the  form  of  an  oath. 

" '  I  do,'  he  answered  solemnly,  to  my  question  of, 
'  Do  you  so  swear  ?  ' 

"  Then  we  went  on  to  the  schoolhouse  and  walked  in. 
There  stood  the  teacher,  dapper  and  with  a  «  ding-dong 
mustachees,'  but  instead  of  being  '  shet-black '  his  hair 
and  mustache  were  brown.  He  was  a  bleached  Herres. 
'  It  looks  like  him,'  said  I  to  myself, '  and  yet,  is  it  he  ? ' 
Just  then  he  twirled  his  mustache.  That  settled  it. 
There  were  about  thirty  children,  mostly  girls,  in  the 
room.     They  eyed  us  curiously. 

"  •  Teacher,  how  long  have  you  been  here  ? '  said  I. 

"  '  For  some  time — since  school  opened,'  said  he,  and 
his  voice  had  a  little  sing-song. 

"  '  What  is  your  name  ?  ' 

"  '  John  Walker,'  he  replied. 

" «  When  did  you  leave  Canada  ? '  I  asked. 

"  *  I  have  never  been  in  Canada  in  my  life,'  he  said. 

"  I  looked  at  his  school-books.  All  were  marked  John 
Walker. 

" '  Are  you  German  ?  '  I  asked. 

" '  Yes,'  said  he. 

" '  John  Walker  is  not  a  German  name,'  I  said. 

"  He  smiled. 


262     MEMOIRS  OF  A  GREAT  DETECTIVE 

"  '  You  are  from  Canada  ! '  I  said  abruptly. 

" '  I  am  not ! '  he  exclaimed,  and  turning  to  the 
astonished  children,  he  told  them  to  go  out  and  get  their 
fathers.  '  Bring  them  quickly,'  he  said,  speaking  rapidly 
in  German  to  the  children.  '  Tell  them  to  bring  their 
guns.     There  are  robbers  here.' 

"  I  understood  him  clearly,  and  I  told  Richardson  to 
keep  the  children  in.  Deputy  Marshal  Richardson 
obeyed  by  standing  against  the  door.  The  children  be- 
gan to  cry,  then  to  scream. 

" '  That's  right ! '  said  the  teacher  to  the  children. 
'  Shout  for  help  !     Shout  as  loud  as  you  can  ! ' 

"  The  whole  school  began  to  yell.  They  ran  round  the 
room  shrieking  and  screaming. 

"  '  Keep  your  seats  and  scream,'  said  the  teacher. 

"  They  promptly  sat  down  and  howled  at  the  top  of 
their  voices  for  help. 

" '  Come  with  me,'  said  I  to  the  teacher. 

" '  I  will  not,'  said  he,  and  he  whipped  off  his  coat. 

"  I  leaped  for  him,  and  down  we  went,  upsetting  the 
table  and  rolling  over  the  floor.  He  was  an  active  fellow, 
and  I  had  to  drag  him  out  of  the  schoolhouse. 

" '  Keep  the  children  in,'  said  I  to  Richardson, '  until  I 
fire  a  shot,  then  run  as  fast  as  you  can  to  the  waggon.' 

"  The  teacher  quieted  down  after  I  got  him  outside, 
but  I  had  to  drag  him  across  to  the  waggon.  I  tied  him 
to  a  wheel,  handcuffed,  while  I  hitched  up  the  horses. 
Then  I  lifted  him  into  the  waggon  and  fired  the  gun. 
The  gun  scared  him,  and  he  sat  quiet.  I  could  see 
Richardson  come  running,  and  I  could  see  the  screaming 
children  stream  out  of  the  schoolhouse  and  rush,  yelling 
for  help,  in  all  directions.  Richardson  fell  on  the  way 
and  got  tangled  in  some  briers,  and  after  considerable 
delay  he  reached  the  waggon  and  clambered  in. 

" '  Drive  to  the  nearest  railroad  station,'  I  said,  and 
Richardson  whipped  up  the  horses  and  away  we  went  on 
the  road  to  Royalton,  over  thirty  miles  away. 

"  We  could  hear  the  cries  of  the  children  dying  away 
as  we  went. 

" '  You'll  suffer  for  this,  sir/  said  the  school-teacher  to 


"THE  DING-DONG  MUSTACHEES"       263 

me.  '  You  will  pay  for  dragging  an  honest  man  about 
like  this.' 

"  I  looked  him  all  over,  and  to  tell  the  truth  I  felt 
shaky  myself.  We  got  into  Royalton  late  in  the  after- 
noon. It  was  a  German  settlement  of  perhaps  fifteen 
hundred  population.  We  drove  to  the  railroad  station. 
The  telegraph  operator  was  a  German.  When  the  school- 
teacher spied  the  telegraph  operator  he  began  to  yell  in 
German  to  send  a  message  saying  he  was  kidnapped  by 
robbers.  The  operator  wanted  to  help  him.  The  school- 
teacher shouted  in  German. 

" '  Save  me  !  Save  me  !  I  am  being  kidnapped  ! 
Help  !     Help  ! '  he  shouted,  as  loud  as  he  could  yell. 

"  A  crowd  gathered.  It  grew  rapidly.  All  the  while 
the  school-teacher  kept  yelling  with  all  the  power  of 
voice  and  lungs.  The  crowd  began  to  murmur.  I 
moved  back  against  the  side  of  the  station,  keeping  the 
school-teacher  beside  me. 

" '  Richardson,  keep  the  crowd  back,'  I  said,  but  Rich- 
ardson decided  he  wanted  nothing  more  to  do  with  the 
affair. 

" '  I  resign  as  deputy  marshal,'  he  said. 

"  The  crowd  drew  in  closer.  I  could  see  men  gallop- 
ing into  town,  and  I  knew  they  were  farmers  who  had 
been  aroused  by  their  children's  tale  of  the  struggle  in 
the  schoolhouse.  They  dismounted  and  told  the  story 
given  by  the  children.  The  crowd  surged  in.  I  had 
the  shotgun  and  a  revolver,  with  another  revolver  in  my 
pocket.  I  discarded  the  shotgun  and  drew  a  second  re- 
volver. All  the  while  the  school-teacher  kept  haranguing 
the  crowd,  inciting  them  to  hang  me  and  praying  to 
them  to  rescue  him.  The  mob  actually  surrounded  the 
station. 

"  '  Give  up  that  man,'  demanded  one  of  their  number,  a 
sturdy  fellow  not  twenty  feet  from  me. 

" '  The  first  man  of  you  who  touches  him  or  me  dies  in 
his  tracks,'  I  said,  while  the  school-teacher  begged  them 
to  rescue  him  from  my  clutches. 

"  *  Do  not  let  him  take  an  innocent  man  to  be  mur- 
dered,' shrieked  the  school-teacher. 


264     MEMOIRS  OF  A  GREAT  DETECTIVE 

"  The  crowd  surged  in.  I  gripped  both  revolvers, 
thinking,  '  Here  she  comes  ;  steady,  old  man,  steady,' 
and  I  decided  that  the  bleating  school-teacher  would  be 
one  of  us  on  the  other  side  when  they  picked  up  the 
bodies. 

"  '  Stand  back  !  Stand  back  ! '  I  shouted,  at  bay,  one 
man  standing  off  a  whole  town. 

"  I  flourished  the  guns,  then  levelled  them,  and  just  as 
I  expected  to  have  the  crash  come,  a  big  fellow  burst 
through  the  crowd. 

"  '  What's  up  ?  '  he  said,  as  his  eyes  took  in  the  braying 
school-teacher,  handcuffed  at  my  feet,  the  surging  crowd 
and  myself,  up  against  the  station  wall,  a  revolver  in  each 
hand. 

"  The  big  fellow's  hands  flew  to  his  hip  pockets.  Out 
flipped  two  guns  as  he  sprang  over  beside  me  and  backed 
up  against  the  wall. 

" '  A  thousand  to  one,'  he  chuckled.  '  God,  but  you're 
a  game  man.'  He  looked  out  of  two  fearless  blue  eyes 
at  the  crowd.  '  Come  on,  you  villains  ! '  he  shouted. 
'  Come  on  !     Who'll  be  the  first  to  die  ?  ' 

"  It  was  superb.    The  man  was  a  whirlwind  in  his  way. 

"  '  I'm  Quinn,  sheriff  of  the  next  county,'  he  said  to  me 
rapidly.     '  What's  it  all  about  ?  ' 

" '  I  am  an  officer  from  St.  Paul,  and  these  people  are 
after  my  prisoner,'  I  said. 

" '  So  ho  ! '  said  Quinn.     <  Well,  they  don't  get  him.' 

"  He  eyed  the  crowd. 

" '  Get  back  !  Back  up  ! '  he  shouted.  '  Back  up  or 
I'll  back  you  up  !     One — two '  he  counted. 

"  The  crowd  began  to  give,  and  the  space  in  front  of 
us  grew  as  Quinn  counted  one  and  two.  He  laughed 
and  I  laughed.  I  turned  to  the  telegraph  operator  and 
told  him  to  take  a  dispatch  as  I  dictated  it  and  send  it  at 
once.  As  we  stood,  revolvers  in  hand,  backed  up  against 
the  station  beside  the  telegraph  office,  I  sent  a  telegram 
to  Marshal  Campbell  saying  we  would  arrive  in  St.  Paul 
by  the  next  train. 

"  '  It  gets  in  at  one  o'clock  in  the  morning,'  said  Quinn, 
and  I  put  the  hour  in  the  dispatch. 


"THE  DING-DONG  MUSTACHEES"       265 

"  Richardson  came  up  then,  and  I  gave  him  the  shot- 
gun and  money  to  pay  the  liveryman,  and  he  drove 
away  ;  and  later  I  wrote  to  the  liveryman,  who  replied 
that  all  was  satisfactory.  Quinn  stood  by  until  the  train 
arrived,  and  he  boarded  it  with  me  and  rode  to  the  third 
station  beyond,  where  he  left  me,  with  a  hearty  hand- 
shake and  a  laugh  when  I  thanked  him.  The  school- 
teacher had  subsided,  except  to  remind  me  occasionally 
that  I  would  suffer  for  treating  an  innocent  man  in  this 
way.  He  may  have  realised  how  close  to  death  he  was 
on  that  station  platform.  Marshal  Campbell  met  us  at 
the  train  at  one  o'clock  in  the  morning  in  St.  Paul. 

" '  This  is  Herres,'  I  said  to  Campbell. 

"  Up  spoke  the  school-teacher,  as  if  he  were  about  to 
shout  again  for  a  crowd  of  rescuers. 

" '  My  name  is  not  Herres  ;  my  name  is  John  Walker,' 
he  said.     '  Some  one  will  pay  for  this.' 

"  It  shook  Campbell.     We  stepped  aside. 

" '  Are  you  certain  he  is  Herres  ?  '  asked  Campbell. 

"  '  I  am  not  certain,  but  I'm  fairly  sure,'  said  I.  '  His 
hair  is  lighter.     But  I'll  be  responsible.' 

"  Campbell  locked  up  the  school-teacher.  John  Walker 
immediately  sent  for  Colonel  Kerr  of  St.  Paul,  to  defend 
him.  He  also  engaged  a  fighting  lawyer  named  Ryan. 
They  wanted  to  get  a  change  of  venue.  I  had  United 
States  District-Attorney  George  N.  Baxter  as  my  coun- 
sel. In  making  the  affidavit  on  the  application  for  a 
change  of  venue  they  swore  the  school-teacher  to  it. 
He  signed  it.  Campbell  and  I  eagerly  looked  at  it.  The 
signature  was  J.  K.  Herres  !  The  marshal  and  I  silently 
shook  hands  and  went  out  and  had  a  drink.  It  took  a 
great  load  off  me.  The  Court  denied  the  change  of 
venue  sought  on  the  unjust  allegation  that  Commissioner 
Spencer  was  a  friend  of  Canada  officers.  Then  began 
the  battle  for  extradition. 

"  It  was  fought  to  a  finish.  Herres's  cousin  in  White 
Cloud  joined  Colonel  Kerr  and  Mr.  Ryan.  Herres  was 
committed  for  extradition.  His  counsel  applied  for  a 
writ  of  habeas  corpus  before  Judge  Nelson.  It  seemed 
that  when  Judge  Nelson's  father  was  Judge  of  the  Su- 


266     MEMOIRS  OF  A  GREAT  DETECTIVE 

preme  Court  a  man  named  Kane  had  killed  some  one  in 
Ireland  and  escaped  to  Minnesota.  The  British  Govern- 
ment sought  to  extradite  him,  and  the  case  was  carried 
to  the  Supreme  Court,  which  held  that  it  was  necessary 
to  have  the  President  issue  an  executive  mandate  to  give 
the  Commissioner  power  to  try  the  case.  The  counsel 
for  Herres  claimed  the  proceeding  in  the  Herres  case  was 
irregular,  and  Judge  Nelson  discharged  Herres.  We  ap- 
pealed from  the  decision  of  Judge  Nelson  and  carried  it 
to  the  Circuit  Court  before  Judge  Brewer,  now  Justice 
Brewer  of  the  Supreme  Court  of  the  United  States. 
Judge  Brewer  wrote  a  long  opinion  reversing  Judge 
Nelson's  judgment  and  ordering  the  prisoner  back  into 
my  custody.  This  case  is  an  authority  in  extradition 
cases,  and  is  reported  in  Federal  Reports  of  the  United 
States,  No.  33,  page  265.  We  fought  the  matter  in  the 
courts  through  November  and  December,  1887,  and 
finally  the  warrant  of  surrender  arrived ;  and  on  January 
17th,  1888,  I  left  St.  Paul  with  Shet-black  Herres,  and 
handed  him  over  in  Berlin  on  Thursday,  January  19th. 
He  pleaded  not  guilty  to  forgery  at  the  Spring  Assizes, 
but  was  convicted  and  sentenced  on  March  20th  to  seven 
years  in  Kingston,  where  his  '  ding-dong  mustachee ' 
vanished  before  the  razor  of  the  prison  barber. 

"  He  had  dyed  his  '  shet-black '  hair  with  butternut  dye. 
It  made  his  hair  a  nasty  yellow  and  seemed  to  me  to 
symbolise  the  make-up  of  Herres.  The  two  meanest 
prisoners  I  ever  had  were  this  Shet-black  Herres  and  a 
fellow  named  Drinkwater.  Herres  was  a  mean  cuss. 
He  was  not  a  finish  fighter  like  some  desperate,  coura- 
geous men,  out  in  the  open.  He  was  a  skulker,  and  a 
mean  one.  While  in  gaol  at  St.  Paul  he  acted  so  badly 
with  the  officials  that  some  fellow,  a  little  insane,  was  put 
in  the  cell  with  Shet-black  Herres  and  committed  all 
kinds  of  nuisances  over  him.  Shet-black  began  an 
action  against  the  sheriff  in  St.  Paul,  but  it  failed.  Shet- 
black  was  serving  seven  years  in  Kingston  instead  of 
suing  the  good  sheriff  of  St.  Paul.  But  greatest  of  all 
his  griefs  was  the  loss  of  his  «  ding-dong  mustachee  ! '  " 


BALDY  DRINKWATER  267 

XLIV 
BALDY  DRINKWATER 

Drinkwater's  first  name  was  Archibald.  His  friends 
called  him  Baldy  Drinkwater.  He  was  a  travelling 
nursery-man,  and  he  drove  from  county  to  county  doing 
business  with  farmers.  He  had  a  wide  acquaintance. 
His  speciality  was  selling  trees  and  fancy  shrubbery.  He 
was  persistent,  and  clung  to  the  guileless  farmer  until  he 
had  him  for  a  customer.  Cash  or  notes,  it  was  all  the 
same  to  Baldy  Drinkwater.  In  fact,  he  seemed  to  prefer 
notes  from  many  of  his  customers. 

"  He  finally  began  to  discount  notes  in  the  banks,  and 
eventually  he  disappeared,"  says  Murray.  "  When  the 
signatures  were  investigated  it  was  found  that  Baldy 
Drinkwater  was  a  forger,  and  had  faked  the  signatures  to 
bogus  orders  and  to  notes.  The  farmers  were  angry,  and 
it  was  just  as  well  for  Baldy  that  he  was  out  of  the  coun- 
try. The  case  came  to  me,  and  I  set  out  to  find  him. 
He  had  a  brother-in-law  in  Illinois,  and  it  was  quite  prob- 
able Baldy  had  skipped  to  him.  Refugees  frequently  flee 
to  relatives  in  other  countries,  instead  of  braving  exile 
alone  or  apart  from  any  one  who  knew  them  before.  I 
billed  Baldy  all  over  the  country,  too.  While  I  was  wait- 
ing for  trace  of  him,  I  prepared  the  necessary  extradition 
papers,  and  when  no  clue  to  his  whereabouts  developed  I 
started  for  Chicago.  There  I  called  on  the  United  States 
Commissioner  and  the  marshal,  and  he  assigned  a  Ger- 
man deputy  to  assist  me.  The  deputy  and  I  went  by 
train  to  the  village  of  St.  Ann's,  about  one  hundred  and 
fifty  miles  from  Chicago.  Baldy's  brother-in-law  lived 
near  St.  Ann's. 

"  The  German  deputy  was  a  funny  fellow.  He  spoke 
quaint  English,  and  was  full  of  proverbs.  Also  he  had  a 
love  affair,  which  demanded  much  of  his  thought,  and  of 
which  he  spoke  frequently  and  fervidly.  I  remember  we 
were  riding  serenely  along,  and  the  train  passed  a  farm- 
house painted  sea-green.     My  German  friend  grasped  my 


268     MEMOIRS  OF  A  GREAT  DETECTIVE 

arm  and  shook  me  out  of  a  pleasant  doze,  and  pointed 
excitedly  out  the  window. 

"  '  See  it !     See  it ! '  he  cried. 

"  '  That  house  ?  What  about  it  ?  '  I  asked,  wondering 
if  Baldy  Drinkwater's  face  had  appeared  at  the  window. 

" '  Her  eyes  are  yust  t'at  colour,'  he  exclaimed,  and 
sank  back  with  a  happy  sigh. 

"  '  The  colour  of  that  house  ?  '  I  said,  craning  my  neck 
for  another  glimpse  of  the  sea-green  farmhouse. 

"  '  Yah,'  he  said  sweetly.     «  Heafenly  blue  ! ' 

"  A  lot  of  things  along  the  road  reminded  him  of  her. 
He  was  not  backward  to  tell  me  of  them. 

"  '  Say,  Peter,'  said  I  finally,  '  does  she  ever  cry  ? ' 

" 4  Vunce,'  said  Peter  sadly. 

" «  What  did  you  do  ? '  I  asked. 

"  *  I  yust  let  her  cry  till  she  dried  herself  up,'  said  he. 

"  '  Don't  you  know  that  the  books  tell  of  how  the  fond 
lover  kisses  the  tears  away  ? '  I  asked. 

"  I  remember  Peter's  expression  to  this  day.  His  face 
puckered  up. 

"  '  Ah,  yah  ! '  he  said.  '  I  yust  tried  it,  und  it  was  salty 
like  t'e  mackerel — o-o-oof ! '  and  Peter  spat  mightily  at 
the  mere  memory  of  it.     '  She  iss  very  salty,  iss  Katrina.' 

"  But  he  turned  out  to  be  a  brave  man,  did  Peter.  We 
arrived  at  St.  Ann's  about  six  o'clock  in  the  evening,  and 
I  had  no  trouble  in  learning  that  Baldy 's  brother-in-law, 
who  was  a  county  constable  named  Goodfellow,  lived 
about  twenty  miles  out  in  the  country,  and  was  quite 
well  known  there.  I  hired  a  team,  and  Peter  and  I 
started  to  drive  from  the  little  village.  It  was  a  fine  road, 
and  we  made  good  time,  and  about  ten  o'clock  at  night 
we  drove  up  to  the  crossroads  saloon  of  a  little  country- 
corners  town.  We  hitched  the  team  and  walked  into  the 
saloon.  There  were  six  men  in  the  place  apart  from  the 
bartender.  The  seven  were  drinking  together,  and  all 
were  half-drunk.  The  moment  Peter  spied  them  he 
whispered  to  me : 

"  '  Tat  is  Big  Polley,  und  t'e  little  fellow  und  he  yust 
got  out  of  t'e  penitentiary.' 

" '  I  never  had  seen   Drinkwater,  but  I   had  a  fairly 


BALDY  DRINKWATER  269 

good  description.  The  first  man  I  spied  answered  the 
description  to  a  dot — big,  burly,  rough,  with  facial  marks 
to  make  sure.  As  they  all  turned,  when  we  asked  the 
bartender  for  a  drink,  I  saw  to  my  amazement  that  the 
second  man  was  almost  a  duplicate  of  the  first.  Never 
have  I  seen  such  a  remarkable  likeness  between  two  men. 
I  was  positive  one  of  the  two  was  Baldy,  but  which  one  ? 
I  could  not  tell.  They  were  playing  pool,  and  resumed 
their  game  as  the  bartender  went  behind  the  bar  to  serve 
us.  There  was  a  mirror  behind  the  bar,  and  I  could  see 
them  clearly  as  I  stood  with  my  back  to  them.  Peter 
ordered  a  whiskey.     As  he  did  so  an  idea  struck  me. 

"  <  What's  yours  ? '  asked  the  bartender. 

" '  I'll  drink  water,'  I  said,  rapidly  and  distinctly ;  and 
added, '  with  whiskey  on  the  side.' 

"  As  I  spoke  I  watched  the  six  men  through  the  mir- 
ror, and  saw  one  of  the  pair  glance  up  quickly,  shift  un- 
easily, eye  us  a  moment,  and  turn  again  to  the  game.  I 
believed  I  had  learned  which  was  Drinkwater.  Peter  and 
I  finished  our  drink.  How  to  get  the  man,  without  a 
fight  and  perchance  a  shooting,  was  puzzling  me.  Peter 
read  my  thoughts.  We  stepped  outside  and  untied  the 
horses,  and  drove  the  team  close  up  to  the  saloon  and 
beyond  the  door. 

"  '  Peter,'  I  said, '  you  saw  the  two  men  who  looked 
alike,  and  you  know  the  big  one  with  the  grey  hat  ? ' 

" '  Ah,  yah,'  said  Peter. 

" '  Step  in  and  tell  him  a  woman  wants  to  speak  to  him 
at  the  door,'  said  I.  '  Be  sure  you  come  out  ahead  of 
him,  and  when  you  get  out  jump  for  the  waggon  and  the 
reins.' 

"  Peter  went  in.  I  stood  close  by  the  door,  holding 
the  reins  loosely  and  ready  for  the  door  to  open.  Peter 
popped  out,  leaped  in  the  waggon,  and  caught  the  reins. 
Right  behind  him  came  the  big  fellow. 

" '  Where  is  she  ?  '  he  said,  as  he  stepped  through  the 
door. 

"  Without  a  word  I  grabbed  him  and  heaved.  He 
was  caught  unawares,  and  landed  sprawling  in  the  light 
waggon.     Peter  sat  on  him  in  a  jiffy,  and  I  snapped  the 


270     MEMOIRS  OF  A  GREAT  DETECTIVE 

handcuffs  on  him  and  jerked  his  revolver  out  of  his 
pocket.  The  moment  he  felt  himself  seized  in  the  dark 
he  yelled  for  help.  Out  rushed  his  friends.  They  sprang 
to  the  horses'  heads  in  the  interval  of  our  struggle  in  the 
waggon.  Two  of  the  crowd  drew  revolvers.  So  did 
Peter  and  I.     The  bartender  ran  out  with  a  light. 

" '  T'ank  you,  kint  frent,'  said  Peter.  •  I  kin  see  to 
shoot' 

" '  Stand  back  from  the  horses,'  I  said. 

"  They  answered  with  a  chorus  of  oaths.  I  told  them 
I  was  a  United  States  Marshal  from  Chicago.  One  of 
them  began  to  yell  for  a  magistrate.  My  big  fellow  lay 
in  the  waggon  swearing  like  a  trooper  and  beseeching 
his  friends  to  kill  us.  A  man  came  out  of  the  back  room 
of  the  saloon.  He  seemed  to  be  a  magistrate.  He  told 
me  to  show  my  papers.  I  told  him  I  was  a  United  States 
Marshal,  and  would  not  show  my  papers  to  him  or  any 
one  else. 

"  '  If  anything  happens  here,  you  will  be  held  respon- 
sible,' I  said  to  him. 

"  He  called  three  of  the  gang  into  consultation.  That 
left  three  men. 

"  '  Loose  the  horses'  heads,'  I  commanded. 

"  They  laughed.  I  aimed  as  close  as  I  could  for  an  ear 
of  one  of  the  horses  and  fired.  With  a  snort  the  two 
horses  reared,  tore  loose  from  the  men,  and  flew  down 
the  road  at  full  gallop.  I  caught  the  reins  while  Peter 
sat  on  the  big  fellow,  who  raged  and  swore  and  kicked. 
The  horses  were  headed  for  St.  Ann's,  and  I  gave  them 
full  rein,  and  they  sped  through  the  night  like  swallows. 
Peter's  human  cushion  yelled  and  howled  all  the  way, 
struggling  to  free  himself,  and  calling  on  his  friends  to 
follow  and  kill  us.  As  we  neared  St.  Ann's  I  tied  a  ker- 
chief round  his  mouth,  so  he  would  not  rouse  the  whole 
village.  He  bit  and  snapped  at  it  as  if  he  were  a  mad 
dog. 

"  We  drew  up  at  the  hotel  in  St.  Ann's  in  the  dead  of 
night.  The  horses  were  fagged  out,  and  stood  panting, 
wet,  drooping.  We  had  to  carry  our  prisoner,  kicking 
and  swearing,  into  the  hotel  and  into  a  back  room  to  wait 


BALDY  DRINKWATER  271 

for  the  Chicago  train.  I  expected  pursuit,  and  told  the 
landlord  I  was  a  United  States  Marshal  and  for  him  to 
lock  the  doors.  Hardly  had  he  shot  the  bolts  when  we 
heard  the  hoof-beats  of  galloping  horses,  and  then  we 
heard  men's  voices,  and  finally  they  halted  outside  the 
hotel  and  began  to  bang  on  the  door  and  fire  revolvers. 

"  '  Landlord  ! '  they  shouted.  '  Open  this  door  in  the 
name  of  the  law.     We  are  officers  ! ' 

"  The  landlord  wavered,  and  finally  said  he  would  have 
to  admit  them.  I  had  sent  Peter  into  the  back  room 
with  the  prisoner.  I  had  two  revolvers,  one  in  each 
hand.  I  stood  by  the  door,  and  when  the  third  of  the 
gang  outside  had  entered  I  shut  and  locked  the  door  and 
faced  them. 

" '  Hands  in  front  of  you,  please,'  I  said,  and  they 
obeyed.     '  Now,  who  are  you,  and  what  do  you  want  ? ' 

" '  We  are  officers,  and  want  to  see  your  authority  for 
holding  the  prisoner  you  have,'  said  their  spokesman. 

" '  I  am  a  United  States  Marshal  from  Chicago,  and  I 
have  a  warrant  from  the  United  States  Court  for  this  pris- 
oner, and  I  am  not  obliged  to  show  my  authority  to 
county  constables,  bailiffs,  or  anybody  else,'  I  answered. 

"  While  this  was  occurring,  the  prisoner  kept  yelling 
for  them  to  shoot  me,  to  rescue  him,  to  kill  me  like  a  dog. 

" '  Peter,'  I  called  to  the  deputy  marshal,  •  if  you  hear 
a  scuffle  or  a  shot  out  here,  shoot  the  prisoner  first  through 
the  head,  and  then  come  out.' 

"  '  Ah,  yah,'  answered  Peter  from  the  back  room. 

"  The  three  men  turned  to  form  a  group,  ostensibly  to 
confer. 

" '  Face  me,  please,  and  keep  your  hands  in  front,' 
said  I. 

"  '  May  we  speak  to  the  prisoner  ? '  said  their  spokes- 
man. 

" '  One  at  a  time,  from  the  doorway,'  I  said. 

"  One  of  them  went  to  the  doorway,  and  spoke  to  the 
prisoner,  who  answered  with  a  volley  of  oaths  and  a  de- 
mand that  I  be  killed  and  he  rescued. 

"  '  I  guess  that's  all,'  I  said,  when  the  prisoner  had  fin- 
ished his  tirade,  and  the  three  filed  out  at  the  door. 


272     MEMOIRS  OF  A  GREAT  DETECTIVE 

"  As  the  last  one  went  out  he  flung  himself  against  the 
door.  I  was  expecting  it,  and  there  was  a  moment's  scuf- 
fle, then  the  door  banged  amid  curses  and  shouts.  Sud- 
denly a  shot  rang  out  in  the  back  room,  followed  by  a 
moan,  and  then  all  was  still  except  for  a  faint '  Ah,  yah,' 
from  Peter.  I  hung  on  to  the  door,  struggling  to  keep  it 
shut  and  lock  it.  When  the  shot  sounded,  the  noises 
outside  ceased.  I  bolted  the  door,  and  sprang  for  the 
back  room.  There  lay  the  prisoner,  gagged  and  unhurt, 
while  Peter  smilingly  eyed  a  hole  in  the  wall  which  he 
had  made  with  the  bullet  he  fired  to  cause  the  gang  out- 
side to  think  the  prisoner  had  been  killed. 

"  The  Chicago  train  was  due  in  thirty  minutes.  I 
slipped  up-stairs,  and  through  a  window  I  could  see  the 
gang  drawn  back  down  the  road,  and  they  were  drinking. 
I  looked  out  the  back  way  and  saw  a  rear  road  leading  to 
the  station.  I  softly  opened  a  back  door.  I  went  back 
to  Peter,  and  we  took  the  prisoner,  and  lugged  him  out, 
and  away  we  went  to  the  station.  We  laid  back  by  a 
fence  corner  near  the  station  until  the  train  came  in,  and 
then  we  picked  up  the  prisoner  and  made  a  rush  for  it. 
We  got  aboard  all  right,  and  the  train  moved  out,  while 
we  could  see  the  crowd  riding  to  and  fro  by  the  hotel, 
occasionally  shooting  into  the  darkness. 

"  The  prisoner  was  sullen.  He  kicked  at  Peter  until 
finally  the  good-natured  German  got  a  pin,  and  every 
time  the  prisoner  kicked  him  Peter  drove  the  pin  into 
him.     About  the  third  pin-drive  the  kicking  ceased. 

"  '  Herr  Trinkvater,  v'at  a  foony  name  you  haf,'  said 
Peter. 

"  The  prisoner  turned  to  me. 

"  '  I'm  Drinkwater,'  he  said.  «  Now  take  that  Dutch- 
man away.' 

"  Peter  instantly  began  to  tell  him  of  his  beloved 
Katrina,  and  all  the  way  to  Chicago  little  Peter  told  big 
Baldy  of  the  beauty  and  the  goodness  of  his  sweetheart. 

" '  Ven  I  sat  on  you  in  t'e  vaggon,  I  t'ought  of  Katrina, 
you  vas  so  big  and  soft,'  said  Peter. 

"  Drinkwater  swore.  When  we  arrived  in  Chicago, 
Baldy  fought  extradition  determinedly,  but  it  was  no  use. 


OLD  JOHN  KLIPPERT  OF  WATERLOO    273 

Back  he  came  to  Owen  Sound  in  Canada,  and  he  was 
sent  to  Kingston  Penitentiary  for  seven  years.  He  and 
Herres,  as  I  have  said,  were  the  meanest  prisoners  I  ever 
had.  I  have  thought  since  of  the  absence  of  any  sense 
of  sorrow  when  I  heard  Dutch  Peter's  shot  ring  out  in 
the  back  room  of  the  hotel  at  St.  Ann's.  A  hole  in  a 
wall  looks  different  from  a  hole  in  a  man's  head.  But 
the  temptation  had  been  strong  on  Peter,  and  he  shot  as 
close  as  he  dared.  The  hole  in  the  wall  was  about  an 
inch  from  Baldy  Drinkwater's  head.  Peter  was  a  good 
shot,  too.  He  could  miss  a  man  closer  than  most  marks- 
men. He  reminded  me,  in  some  of  his  quaint  ways,  of 
John  Klippert,  who  died  recently,  full  of  years,  and  with 
his  life's  work  well  done." 


XLV 
OLD  JOHN  KLIPPERT  OF  WATERLOO 

John  Klippert  was  the  Pooh  Bah  of  the  county  of 
Waterloo.  He  filled  many  offices,  and  filled  them  ably 
too.  He  was  chief  constable  and  crier  of  the  court  and 
bailiff  and  issuer  of  marriage  licences  and  deputy  sheriff, 
and  several  other  officials,  all  in  one.  He  was  a  keen, 
shrewd  fellow,  abrupt  in  his  manner  and  picturesque  in 
his  speech.  He  had  sandy  hair  and  a  sandy  mustache, 
and  he  used  to  toddle  along  with  his  head  well  for- 
ward, conversing  amiably  with  himself.  The  county  of 
Waterloo  was  known  to  him  from  end  to  end,  every  nook 
and  corner.  It  is  a  rich  county,  and  among  its  settlers 
was  a  colony  of  sturdy  German  loyalists  who  moved 
from  Pennsylvania  to  Ontario  in  the  early  days  of  the 
history  of  the  United  States.  Klippert  was  of  German 
ancestry,  and  he  reminded  his  hearers  constantly  of  the 
fact  by  his  entertaining  English. 

"  The  farms  of  the  county  of  Waterloo  were  well 
stocked,"  says  Murray,  "and  in  1888  horses  began  to 
disappear.     The  stealing  increased,  until  Mr.  Snyder,  the 


274     MEMOIRS  OF  A  GREAT  DETECTIVE 

member  of  Parliament  from  Waterloo,  spoke  to  me  about 
the  matter.  Klippert  also  had  written  to  me  about  it 
and  described  some  of  the  horses.  I  knew  where  old 
Chisholm  was,  and  settled  first  of  all  that  he  could  not 
have  been  mixed  up  in  it.  Klippert  worried  me  as  time 
passed,  and  he  pestered  me  with  letters.  At  length  I 
telegraphed  him  to  get  a  warrant  and  come  to  Toronto. 
Old  John  arrived  on  the  early  train  next  day.  It  was 
Fair-time  in  Toronto.  Detective  Burrows  had  seen 
James  Little,  a  notorious  horse  thief  and  head  of  a  bad 
family,  at  the  fair  grounds  the  day  before.  Little  had  a 
son  Tom,  who  was  a  highwayman. 

"  I  sent  old  John  out  to  the  fair  grounds.  Little  had 
been  trying  to  sell  a  couple  of  horses.  Burrows  spied 
him  and  pointed  him  out  to  old  John.  Klippert  drew 
back  about  one  hundred  feet  and  carefully  took  out  his 
handcuffs  and  carried  them  under  his  coat  tails. 

"  Then  he  advanced  stealthily,  as  if  about  to  sprinkle 
salt  on  a  bird's  tail.  Old  Little  was  gazing  at  the  crowd, 
when  suddenly  a  hand  was  thrust  into  his  face  and  a 
hoarse  voice  said : 

"  '  Surrender ! ' 

"  Old  John  compelled  old  Little  to  hold  out  his  wrists 
and  be  handcuffed.  Then  he  led  him  over  in  triumph, 
and  I  met  them. 

"  '  I  got  him  ! '  he  exclaimed. 

"  Even  old  Little  laughed. 

"  '  What  is  the  case  against  me  ? '  he  asked. 

"  That  puzzled  old  John.  He  called  me  aside,  keeping 
a  watchful  eye  on  old  Little. 

"  '  What  case  do  I  haf  on  him,  Shon  ? '  he  asked. 

"  '  You'll  have  to  work  it  up,'  I  said,  to  have  some  fun. 
'  I'm  sure  he's  your  man,  but  you'll  have  to  prove  it.' 

"  I  intended  to  send  the  witnesses  to  Berlin,  the  county 
seat  of  Waterloo,  the  next  day.  So  I  told  Klippert  to 
take  old  Little  to  Berlin  and  work  out  the  case.  The  old 
constable  was  perplexed,  but  he  took  it  seriously  and  bade 
me  good-bye. 

"  «  Come  on,'  he  said  to  Little. 

"  What  happened  then  I  learned  afterwards  from  both 


OLD  JOHN  KLIPPERT  OF  WATERLOO    275 

Klippert  and  Little.  On  the  train  old  John  began  to  talk 
of  Little's  hard  luck. 

"  '  Too  bad,  too  bad,'  said  old  John.  <  I'm  sorry  to  haf 
to  take  you  back.  T'at  Vaterloo  is  a  bad  county  for 
horse  stealers.  T'e  shuries  t'ey  is  yust  death  on  horse 
thieves.  T'ey  socks  it  to  a  man,  und  t'ey  always  asks  t'e 
shudge  to  sock  it  to  him.  T'at  is  part  of  t'e  verdict,  a  plea 
from  t'e  shury  to  t'e  shudge  to  sock  it  to  t'e  stealers  and 
t'e  thievers.' 

"  Old  Little  listened  while  honest  old  John  told  him  of 
how  the  farmers  hated  a  horse  thief,  and  how  they  tried 
to  get  them  sent  down  for  twenty  years,  and  how  they 
were  stirred  up  by  recent  thefts  so  that  they  were  ready, 
almost,  to  take  the  thief  out  of  gaol  and  string  him  up  to 
the  limb  of  a  tree.  The  more  old  John,  in  his  simple, 
broken  way,  talked  of  the  tense  state  of  affairs  in  the 
county,  the  more  impressed  was  old  Little  over  the 
dangers  of  his  predicament. 

"  '  Ven  ve  get  to  Berlin  I  yust  will  see  you  safe  in  gaol, 
and  tell  no  one  but  t'e  shudge  who  you  are  und  vat  I  got 
you  for,'  said  old  John. 

"  Little  asked  old  John  if  it  was  necessary  to  tell  the 
judge  about  his  record.  Klippert  said  it  depended.  If 
Little  desired  to  take  a  jury  trial,  all  the  facts  of  his  career 
would  have  to  come  out.  If  Little  wished  to  make  no 
trouble  and  take  a  speedy  trial  before  the  judge,  without 
a  jury,  his  past  would  not  necessarily  have  to  come  out. 

"  •'  Of  course,'  said  old  John,  *  t'e  case  I  haf  on  you  is 
so  plain  t'at  t'ere  vill  be  no  use  to  fight  it.  I  yust  show 
t'e  shudge  t'e  evidence,  und  he  say  "  guilty."  ' 

"  Old  Little  told  John  he  would  take  a  speedy  trial  if 
old  John  would  not  rake  up  his  record,  and  if  he  would 
put  in  a  good  word  with  the  judge  to  get  him  off. 

"  «  Yah,  yah,'  said  John.  '  I  will  fix  t'e  shudge.  You 
vas  a  vise  man.' 

"  So  old  John  took  old  Little  before  County  Judge  Da 
Costa  and  charged  him  with  horse  stealing. 

"  '  I  plead  guilty,'  said  old  Little. 

"  The  judge  withdrew  to  a  side  room.  Old  John  went 
in  to  see  him  a  moment,  and  then  returned  to  old  Little. 


276     MEMOIRS  OF  A  GREAT  DETECTIVE 

"  '  T'e  shudge  he  vant  to  know  if  you  vas  honest,'  said 
old  John.  '  I  say  yah,  you  vas.  T'e  shudge  he  ask  me 
vere  you  sold  t'e  horse.  Vat  shall  I  tell  him  ?  Shall  I 
tell  him  t'e  right  place  or  some  wrong  place  ? ' 

"  '  Tell  him  the  right  place,'  said  old  Little.  •  You 
know — Burns's  coal  yard  in  Toronto.' 

"  Old  John  went  back,  and  later  old  Little  was  brought 
up  for  sentence.  Klippert  meanwhile  had  telegraphed  to 
Toronto  and  located  the  horse,  and  its  owner  identified 
it.  Then  old  John,  when  Little  was  to  be  sentenced,  said 
to  the  judge : 

"  '  Shudge,  t'is  man  iss  an  old  villain.  His  whole  family 
t'ey  is  stealers  und  thievers.  He  ought  to  go  to  prison  for 
life.' 

"  Old  John  painted  old  Little  so  black  that  the  notori- 
ous old  horse  thief  did  not  even  recognise  his  own  record. 

"  The  judge  sent  Little  to  Kingston  for  seven  years. 
Klippert  was  delighted. 

" '  I  worked  out  my  case  ;  eh,  Shon  ?  '  he  said  to  me, 
and  chuckled. 

"  Old  Little  was  sore  as  a  bear  with  the  toothache. 
He  blamed  himself  for  being  caught  by  old  John's  hon- 
est, blunt  manner. 

"  '  There's  no  fool  like  an  old  fool,'  said  Little,  '  and  I 
am  the  old  one  in  this  case.' 

"  From  Klippert's  view-point  it  was  all  right.  He 
worked  up  his  case  after  he  got  his  man.  As  to  the  change 
of  front  towards  old  Little,  every  man  must  be  his  own 
arbiter  in  such  matters.  The  man  who  would  achieve 
the  greatest  success  in  the  detective  business  must  keep 
his  word  absolutely  when  he  gives  it.  Oftentimes  confi- 
dence of  others  in  his  word  will  bring  success  where 
otherwise  there  would  be  failure.  The  detective  who 
breaks  his  word  is  marked  among  crooks  just  as  among 
other  men — in  fact,  he  is  marked  more  clearly  and  more 
disastrously.  If  he  does  not  wish  to  keep  his  word,  he 
should  not  give  it. 

"  John  Klippert,  however,  viewed  the  case  from  his 
standpoint,  and  his  course  appeared  all  right.  He  never 
saw  Little  before  and  he  never  expected  to  see  him  again  ; 


OLD  JOHN  KLIPPERT  OF  WATERLOO    277 

and  his  business  was  to  protect  his  county  and  show  no 
favour  to  those  who  showed  no  favour  to  it.  He  used  to 
chuckle  over  the  case,  and  often  spoke  of  it.  Klippert 
was  a  faithful,  efficient  man.  Old  Little  finally  forgave 
him,  and  wrote  him  a  letter,  saying  : 

"'If  I  had  a  horse  I  would  drive  to  Berlin  and  see 
you.' 

"  Old  John  sent  word  to  him  that  if  he  ever  set  foot  in 
the  county  of  Waterloo  the  farmers  would  string  him  up 
by  his  heels  and  pitchfork  him  into  eternity  upside  down. 
Old  Little  must  have  believed  him,  for  he  never  poked 
his  nose  into  Waterloo  thereafter. 

"  Klippert  was  with  me  on  an  occasion  when  I  bade  as 
dapper  a  little  crook,  as  ever  did  wrong,  to  keep  out  of 
Canada.  The  affair  began  in  the  old  days  back  in  Erie. 
A  suave,  polished  little  fellow  stepped  off  a  train  one  day 
in  Erie  and  registered  at  the  Reed  House  as  J.  O.  Flan- 
ders. He  was  as  pleasant  as  could  be,  and  made  friends 
quickly.  I  met  him  and  played  billiards  with  him,  and 
we  became  well  acquainted.  He  said  he  was  connected 
with  the  Clafiins  in  New  York,  and  he  soon  knew  the 
leading  merchants  of  Erie.  He  made  friends  particularly 
with  Church,  the  merchant,  producing  a  forged  letter  of 
introduction,  and  one  day  he  went  to  Currie's  bank,  with 
Church  to  identify  him,  and  deposited  a  draft  for  $30,000. 
The  next  day  he  went  to  the  bank  alone  and  drew 
$25,000,  and  skipped  with  the  money.  The  draft  turned 
out  to  be  worthless.  We  set  out  to  find  him.  Not  a 
trace  of  him  could  we  get.  If  he  had  kept  out  of  women 
troubles,  we  never  would  have  landed  him.  But  he  stole 
another  crook's  woman,  and  that  made  the  other  crook 
angry  ;  and  we  were  tipped  that  J.  O.  Flanders  was  living 
in  grand  style  at  the  Spencer  House  at  Indianapolis,  in 
Indiana.  Crowley  and  I  went  out  there  to  take  Flanders 
back  to  Erie. 

"  Never  had  I  seen  such  a  complete  change  of  appear- 
ance as  there  was  in  J.  O.  Flanders.  His  own  mother 
would  not  have  known  him  for  the  man  who  was  in  Erie. 
Hair,  complexion,  walk,  manner,  all  were  changed.  He 
had  plenty  of  money,  and  over  $22,000  was  found  on 


278     MEMOIRS  OF  A  GREAT  DETECTIVE 

him.  He  was  taken  before  Judge  Morris,  who,  to  our 
great  surprise,  released  him.  We  appealed,  but  Flanders 
had  taken  his  $22,000  and  was  gone,  and  we  returned  to 
Erie.  Nine  months  later  he  was  caught  in  Fort  Wayne. 
His  $22,000  had  vanished  and  he  had  $200  when  ar- 
rested. Crowley  and  I  went  after  him  a  second  time  and 
he  was  safe  in  gaol.  The  night  before  I  was  to  take  him 
away  he  thumped  a  gaoler  on  the  head,  stunning  him, 
and  escaped.  I  thought  at  the  time  the  gaoler  was  in  on 
the  game.  Then  I  returned  to  Erie  in  disgust,  and  said 
I  was  through  monkeying  with  Flanders. 

"  Several  years  later,  when  I  was  with  the  Canada 
Southern  Railroad,  F.  N.  Finney  and  I  walked  into 
Strong's  Hotel  at  London,  Ontario,  and  who  should  be 
back  of  the  desk  as  clerk  but  my  old  friend  J.  O.  Flan- 
ders. 

"  '  Great  God  ! '  he  whispered  to  me.  '  Are  you  after 
me  again  ?  ' 

"  '  Not  on  your  life  ! '  I  answered.  '  I  quit  chasing  you 
in  Indiana  when  they  let  you  go.' 

"  '  Don't  give  me  away,  Murray,'  he  pleaded.  '  I  blew 
all  the  money  in  six  months.' 

" '  I'm  not  going  to  give  you  away,'  I  said, '  but  I  am 
vexed  still  at  that  gaoler.' 

"  Mr.  Finney  had  gone  to  bed,  but  I  sat  up  until  three 
o'clock  in  the  morning  with  Flanders,  while  he  told  me 
of  himself  and  of  crooks  he  had  known. 

" '  You  did  wrong  to  accuse  the  gaoler,'  he  said.  '  He 
did  not  let  me  go.' 

"  I  went  away  the  next  day,  and  I  lost  track  of  Flan- 
ders. Along  towards  1888  I  was  with  old  John  Klippert 
at  Berlin,  when  none  other  than  J.  O.  Flanders  stepped 
off  the  train. 

"  '  John,'  said  I  to  Klippert,  '  tell  that  polite,  fine  gen- 
tleman over  there  that  his  presence  is  desired  in  the  United 
States.' 

"  Old  John  walked  over  and  thumped  Flanders  on  the 
shoulder. 

" '  You're  vanted  in  t'e  States,  und  vanted  quick,'  said 
old  John. 


THE  RETURNING  OF  GEORGE  CLAXTON    279 

" '  Thank  you,  my  deah  fellah,  I  know  it  well,'  said 
Flanders. 

"  Old  John  gasped.  He  hastened  back  to  me  and  ex- 
claimed : 

" '  He  admits  it,  Shon ;  he  admits  it !  Vill  I  jigger 
him  ?     Say  t'e  vord,  Shon,  und  I  got  him.' 

"  Flanders  spied  me  and  promptly  came  over  and 
bowed.  I  explained  to  him  that  I  had  changed  positions 
since  seeing  him  in  London,  and  perhaps,  if  he  still  con- 
templated the  easy,  anxious  life,  it  would  be  better  for 
him.  to  sojourn  in  the  States.  He  understood,  bowed 
politely,  thanked  me  for  past  courtesies,  and  took  the 
waiting  train  out  of  Berlin  again.  Old  John  gazed  after 
him. 

" '  He  looked  a  shentleman,  but  I  could  tell  he  vas  a 
horse  thiever,' said  old  John,  and  he  chuckled,  then  looked 
at  me  and  said,  '  I  can  tell  'em  efery  time,  t'e  horse 
thievers,  Shon,'  and  he  shook  his  old  head  wisely. 

"  I  never  saw  Flanders  again." 


XLVI 

THE  RETURNING  OF  DARKY  GEORGE  CLAXTON 

George  Claxton  was  a  negro  Napoleon  of  finance. 
His  empire  was  Coontown,  a  darky  suburb  of  the  town 
of  Buxton,  in  the  county  of  Kent.  He  was  a  yellow  fel- 
low with  kinkless  hair  and  a  complexion  suggesting  an 
olive's  greenish  tan.  In  fact  there  were  uncanny,  absurd 
tales  among  some  coloured  folk  that  Darky  George  knew 
a  five-footed  rabbit  and  in  its  jaw  was  a  shark's  tooth,  and 
every  time  the  moon  shone  on  the  tooth  Br'er  Claxton 
turned  a  bottle  green.  If  any  one  touched  Darky  George 
while  he  had  the  greens,  some  foolishly  thought  it  meant 
the  passing  of  a  charm.  Many  of  the  negroes  pooh- 
poohed  this  talk  of  wonder-working,  but  others  were  said 
to  believe  in  it,  and  to  the  believers  Darky  George  was 
said  to  be  as  sacred  as  the  prophets  of  old  and  as  much 


280     MEMOIRS  OF  A  GREAT  DETECTIVE 

to  be  dreaded  as  the  lightning,  or  a  humpbacked  cat  with 
its  tail  on  high. 

"  I  remember  him  well,"  says  Murray,  "  a  glistening 
little  fellow,  about  forty-five  years  old,  who  walked  with 
a  quaint  shuffle  of  the  feet,  and  who  seldom  stood  still, 
but  constantly  tapped  with  his  toes.  He  dressed  in 
wondrous  fashion.  Sometimes  he  looked  the  colour  of  a 
banana.  Some  alleged  he  actually  seemed  a  sort  of 
green,  as  if  he  were  not  quite  ripe.  He  was  a  money- 
maker and,  unlike  most  darkies,  he  was  thrifty.  While 
other  negroes  were  always  buying,  Darky  George  always 
had  something  to  sell.  He  was  a  leader  among  a  certain 
class  of  darkies,  and  he  had  great  influence  with  them. 
He  had  come  to  Canada  from  the  States  in  a  colony  of 
negroes  whose  owner  bought  farm  lands  in  Ontario  for 
them  and  set  them  free.  Darky  George  traded  among 
them,  ever  bartering,  and  so  shrewd  was  he  that  eventually 
he  came  to  be  regarded  as  the  darky  Jay  Gould  in  that 
part  of  the  country. 

"  But  he  flew  too  high.  He  put  some  paper  in  the 
Chatham  branch  of  the  Merchants'  Bank  and  before  it 
came  due  he  departed.  It  was  alleged  Darky  George  had 
forged  the  names  of  other  negroes.  He  left  his  family 
behind  him.  On  April  18th,  1888,  I  went  to  Chatham 
and  ascertained  the  particulars  and  prepared  extradition 
papers.  This  proceeding  includes  laying  an  information 
against  the  refugee,  taking  a  deposition  setting  forth  his 
crime,  having  his  papers  identified  by  the  American 
Consular  officer  and  obtaining  a  warrant  of  recipias  from 
the  Governor-General.  This  warrant  of  recipias  is  an 
authority  to  receive  the  prisoner.  In  the  meantime  I 
billed  Darky  George  from  Podunk  to  Timbuctoo.  He 
was  out  of  sight  of  the  police.  At  length  he  wrote  a 
letter  to  one  of  his  family.  It  was  dated  Mason  City,  in 
Iowa.  I  started  for  Mason  City  that  night.  When  I 
arrived  there  I  found  Darky  George  had  skipped.  I 
drove  to  various  parts  of  the  country  around  there  look- 
ing for  the  yellow  darky.  Other  negroes  had  heard  of 
him  ;  some  had  seen  him  ;  none  knew  where  he  had  gone. 
I  finally  learned  that  he  had  checked  a  trunk  to  St.  Paul, 


THE  RETURNING  OF  GEORGE  CLAXTON  281 

in    Minnesota,  and    I  went   there   and  saw  my  police 
friends. 

"  We  knew  that  Brother  Claxton  would  not  be  among 
darkies  very  long  without  doing  something  to  their 
amazement  and  his  profit.  Sure  enough,  Darky  George 
had  established  himself  to  become  a  fixture  in  St.  Paul. 
Some  said  (and  I  did  not  believe  it)  he  had  a  little  back 
room  with  a  green  curtain,  and  behind  it  was  concealed 
a  lamp  with  a  green  glass ;  and  Darky  George  would  lead 
a  superstitious  negro  into  this  little  room  and  make  him 
kneel,  and  then  Darky  George  would  chant  and  moan 
and  groan  and  suddenly  smite  the  kneeling  negro  on  the 
bowed  head  and  bid  him  look  up,  and  he  would  behold 
Darky  George  in  the  green  light  of  the  lamp,  staring  at 
him  with  wild  eyes  and  making  passes  with  his  hands  and 
spitting  like  a  cat. 

"  «  Fsst !  Fsst !  Fsst ! '  Darky  George  would  spit,  and 
cast  the  magic  spell. 

"  Then  the  scared  subject  would  bow  his  head,  the 
chant  would  die  away,  while  Darky  George  softly  pulled 
the  string  to  screen  the  lamp,  and  the  subject  withdrew 
while  George  pocketed  $1  or  $2,  or  whatever  the  fee 
might  be.  I  did  not  believe  all  this  talk,  and  I  investi- 
gated it  and  put  it  aside.  In  fact,  so  far  as  I  could  find, 
it  was  entirely  untrue,  as  well  as  the  talk  of  wonder- 
working and  charming.  Darky  George  did  nothing  of 
the  kind  so  far  as  I  could  ascertain. 

"  I  took  Darky  George  before  United  States  Com- 
missioner Spencer.  He  pleaded  guilty  and  agreed  to 
come  back.  Then  he  changed  his  mind,  sent  for  a 
lawyer,  and  refused  to  go.  His  lawyer  had  him  taken 
before  Judge  Nelson  on  a  writ  of  habeas  corpus  in  May. 
There  were  three  postponements.  J.  E.  Markham  was 
my  counsel,  and  finally  Judge  Nelson  dismissed  the  writ. 
A  vice-consul,  acting  as  consul,  had  certified  the  papers, 
and  Darky  George's  counsel  argued  that  the  certificate 
was  irregular.  The  court  held  otherwise  and  the  case 
became  a  precedent  case  on  this  point  in  extradition 
decisions.  It  is  reported  in  the  Minnesota  Federal  Re- 
ports, 34.     Darky  George  was  turned  over  to  me. 


282     MEMOIRS  OF  A  GREAT  DETECTIVE 

"  In  travelling  with  a  prisoner  for  a  long  distance, 
involving  night  riding,  it  is  necessary  to  sleep  in  the  same 
berth  with  him,  if  he  is  the  sort  with  whom  it  is  safe  to 
shut  your  eyes.  He  is  handcuffed  and  has  irons  on  his 
legs  and  he  lies  on  the  inside  of  the  berth.  It  was  June 
and  the  nights  were  warm,  and  I  decided  I  did  not  care 
to  sleep  in  the  same  berth  with  Brother  Claxton,  so  I  took 
a  detective,  a  first-class  man,  then  of  the  Pinkertons,  now 
with  a  northern  railroad,  with  me  to  sleep  in  the  berth 
handcuffed  with  Darky  George.  The  three  of  us  left  St. 
Paul  on  June  28th.  It  was  stifling  hot  in  the  car  and 
Darky  George  and  the  detective  crawled  into  the  berth 
with  their  clothes  on.     Presently  I  heard  Darky  George. 

"  '  Foh  de  Lawd's  sake ! '  he  gasped,  '  I'se  a-melting 
away.' 

" '  Melt ! '  was  the  answer,  and  all  was  still. 

"  The  train  whizzed  on.  I  waited  an  hour,  and  tiptoed 
up  the  car  and  peeped  at  the  berth.  The  detective  lay 
half  out  of  the  berth,  puffing  and  gasping  for  fresh  air. 
Inside  I  could  see  the  dark  outline  of  Darky  George. 
The  curtain  was  up  and  it  was  moonlight. 

"  '  I'se  a  turnin','  he  was  saying. 

"  '  Turn,  ye  naygur,  turn  purple,  turn  pink,  but  don't 
ye  turn  over,'  growled  the  detective. 

" '  I'se  a  turnin'.  I'se  a  turnin','  whispered  Darky 
George  hoarsely.  '  I  kin  feel  it  a-comin'.  I'se  a-goin' 
to  throw.     I'se  a  gettin'  ready  to  throw.' 

" '  Throw  any  dom  thing  ye  please  except  a  fit/ 
snorted  his  keeper,  who  lifted  his  head  and  eyed  Darky 
George,  and  added,  as  he  sniffed,  '  Gee,  naygur,  but  ye 
stink.  Sweat  less.  Do  you  hear  me  ?  Stop  pourin' 
perspiration  out  of  yersilf.' 

"  '  I  can't  help  it,'  said  Darky  George,  who  lay  like  a 
monster  loaf  of  bread  in  a  hot  oven.  «  Deed,  boss,  I  jes' 
can't  help  it.  Dey  ain't  no  way  I  knows  to  keep  de 
sweat  back.  It  just  rolls  out  itself,  and  deed  I  can't 
stop  it.' 

"  '  Draw  in  your  skin,  ye  heathen,'  growled  the  de- 
tective. '  Pucker  yersilf  up.  The  tighter  ye  pucker  the 
less  ye  sweat.' 


TWO  DISAPPEARANCES  283 

"  There  was  a  long  silence.  Then  Darky  George 
gasped. 

"  '  Deed  I  can't  pucker/  he  said  sadly.  '  I  jes'  can't 
help  dis  water  a-pourin'  off  me.' 

"  '  Lie  still,  naygur,'  said  the  detective  sternly.  '  Ye 
stink.  Them  that  must  smell  to  high  heaven  should 
smell  in  silence,  for  their  odour  is  loud  enough.' 

"  I  laughed  throughout  the  night.  The  detective  and 
Darky  George  slept  little.  I  landed  George  in  Chatham 
gaol  on  Saturday,  June  30th.  He  made  restitution  to  the 
bank  and  was  acquitted.  The  last  I  heard  of  him  he  was 
busy  among  the  darkies,  bartering  and  dickering. 

"  The  detective  soaked  himself  in  a  bath  for  five  hours 
after  the  trip.  Years  later  I  saw  him,  and  he  said :  '  Go 
away,  Murray.  Ye  remind  me  of  a  sleeping  car,  and 
whenever  I  think  of  a  sleeping  car  I  smell  naygur,'  and 
he  sniffed  violently." 


XLVII 
TWO  DISAPPEARANCES 

In  the  united  counties  of  Stormont,  Dundas,  and  Glen- 
garry, where  Louis  Kipp  served  a  year  for  his  part  in  the 
big  circus  fight,  the  county  treasurer  was  Aeneas  Mac- 
donald.  He  held  office  as  a  nominee  of  the  Government. 
He  was  one  of  the  leading  men  of  that  part  of  the  country, 
active  in  business  and  social  affairs,  and  of  a  prominent 
and  influential  family. 

"  Aeneas  was  married,  and  was  about  forty  years  old," 
says  Murray.  "  He  was  popular,  and  knew  everybody 
in  the  three  counties.  One  evening  he  was  rowing  on 
the  St.  Lawrence  River,  opposite  Cornwall.  He  was  seen 
at  sunset  in  the  boat.  When  he  did  not  return  his  wife 
became  alarmed  and  a  searching  party  was  organised. 
The  boat  was  found,  capsized  and  floating  aimlessly 
about  in  a  little  bay,  and  later  his  hat  was  found  in  the 
water.     The  river  was  dragged,  and  men  dived  for  the 


284     MEMOIRS  OF  A  GREAT  DETECTIVE 

body,  but  it  could  not  be  found.  Mrs.  Macdonald  put 
on  widow's  weeds.  Aeneas  was  mourned  as  lost.  Several 
bodies,  found  at  various  points  along  the  river,  were  held 
in  the  belief  that  one  of  them  might  be  the  missing  man, 
but  none  was  identified  as  Macdonald.  He  had  been 
county  treasurer  for  many  years,  and  his  death  occasioned 
wide-spread  sorrow.  It  was  thought  at  first  that  a  stranger 
had  been  with  him  in  the  boat,  and  that  he  might  have 
met  with  foul  play,  and,  as  in  the  Long  Point  or  Piggott 
case,  the  body  would  wash  loose  from  the  weights  at- 
tached to  it  and  rise  to  the  surface.  Those  who  last  saw 
Aeneas  in  the  boat  were  confident  he  was  alone  and  be- 
yond the  reach  of  any  one  seeking  his  life.  Suicide  was 
scouted.     Aeneas  loved  life  too  well  for  that. 

"  A  new  county  treasurer,  Mr.  Mathias,  who  died  re- 
cently, was  appointed,  and  Aeneas  passed  into  the  history 
of  the  three  counties  as  an  honest  man  and  an  upright 
official,  who  had  come  to  an  untimely  end  by  accidental 
drowning.  Months  passed.  The  last  hopes  of  finding 
the  body  were  abandoned.  Then  the  widow  notified  the 
insurance  companies  to  pay  to  her  the  amount  of  her  late 
husband's  life  insurance  policies.  It  came  to  light  then 
that  Aeneas  had  taken  out  policies  for  thousands  of  dol- 
lars. The  companies  refused  to  pay  until  they  had  more 
positive  proof  of  the  death  of  Macdonald.  They  pro- 
fessed to  believe  he  was  alive  and  not  dead.  Mrs.  Mac- 
donald began  an  action  against  the  insurance  companies 
to  get  the  money.  In  the  meantime  the  new  county 
treasurer  had  been  verifying  the  accounts  of  the  office, 
and  he  found  that  Macdonald  had  embezzled  thousands 
of  dollars  from  the  county  funds,  and  had  committed 
forgery  and  other  crimes. 

"  In  the  spring  of  1888  the  Government  instructed  me 
to  find  Macdonald.  This  action  was  due  to  the  requests 
of  the  county  officials  of  the  united  counties,  and  the 
letters  of  the  officers  of  the  insurance  companies.  It  was 
a  hard  case.  I  sent  personal  communications  to  my 
police  friends  throughout  the  continent.  The  search 
was  conducted  largely  in  a  confidential  way,  for  I  did  not 
wish  to  arouse  the  suspicions  of  his  friends,  and  he  had 


TWO  DISAPPEARANCES  285 

many  of  them.  I  explained  the  circumstances  of  his  dis- 
appearance in  detail,  and  cautioned  them  to  make  sure 
of  their  man  as  a  mistaken  arrest  would  be  unpleasant. 
About  this  time  a  body  was  found  far  down  the  St. 
Lawrence,  and  some  who  saw  it  said  it  was  the  body  of 
Macdonald.  The  people  of  the  united  counties  were 
divided  as  to  whether  Aeneas  was  living  or  dead.  As 
time  passed  there  were  folk  who  asserted  positively  they 
had  seen  him  drown. 

"  From  police  friends  in  California,  I  heard  of  a  man 
named  Abner  Holt,  who,  they  thought,  was  Macdonald, 
if  Macdonold  were  alive.  Mr.  Holt  did  not  tarry  long  in 
California,  but  shortly  thereafter,  I  heard  of  a  James  B. 
Carter,  in  Oregon,  who  was  suspiciously  similar  to  Abner 
Holt  of  California  in  appearance.  Then  I  heard  from 
police  friends  in  Colorado  of  the  arrival  of  a  Walter 
Holder  in  Denver,  and  Mr.  Holder  was  a  counterpart  of 
Mr.  Carter  of  Oregon,  and  Mr.  Holt  of  California,  and 
all  three  bore  more  or  less  resemblance  to  the  ghost  of 
Aeneas  Macdonald.  Next  I  heard  of  a  Thomas  Collier 
in  St.  Louis,  and  he,  too,  joined  the  list  of  duplicates  of 
the  missing  Aeneas.  These  mysterious  strangers  popped 
up  at  intervals  that  satisfied  me  one  man  was  travelling 
through  the  western  part  of  the  United  States,  with  a 
change  of  names  between  cities.  I  determined  to  shake 
hands  with  this  gentleman,  and  give  him  greetings  in  the 
name  of  those  solicitous  of  the  whereabouts  of  Aeneas. 

"  I  prepared  the  necessary  papers,  properly  authenti- 
cated, and  at  the  next  city  where  this  travelling  mystery 
appeared  I  hastened  to  take  the  trail.  I  fell  in  behind 
him  in  Omaha,  from  whence  he  had  bought  tickets  to 
St.  Paul,  and  with  a  glad  heart  I  took  the  next  train  to 
see  my  old  friends  in  Minnesota.  Mr.  Many  Names  was 
there  ahead  of  me,  and  was  running  short  of  funds.  In 
fact,  the  first  trace  of  him  I  obtained  was  as  an  applicant 
for  a  job  as  a  street  car  conductor.  He  was  to  return  the 
next  morning.     When  he  appeared  I  was  there. 

'"Good-morning,  Aeneas/  said  I,  shaking  hands 
heartily.     '  When  did  you  get  out  of  the  river  ?  ' 

" '  I  never  got  in,'  said  he. 


286     MEMOIRS  OF  A  GREAT  DETECTIVE 

"  I  took  him  before  United  States  Commissioner  Spen- 
cer on  June  2d.  He  was  remanded  until  June  15th,  and 
then  until  June  21st.  In  this  interval  a  number  of  tele- 
grams came  to  me  from  Cornwall  and  Toronto  to  drop 
the  case.  I  refused  to  have  Aeneas  discharged,  and  I  ig- 
nored the  telegrams.  Immediately  after  his  arrest  Aeneas 
had  sent  word  to  his  friends  in  Canada.  Finally  I  re- 
ceived a  written  communication  from  the  then  Deputy- 
Attorney-General  to  drop  the  proceedings.  It  was  a 
matter  of  great  surprise  and  disappointment  to  me  and 
to  the  United  States  authorities  that,  with  such  a  clear 
case  against  Macdonald,  it  should  have  been  dropped. 
It  is  entirely  unusual  to  drop  such  extradition  proceedings. 
It  was  brought  about  no  doubt  by  the  refunding  of  some 
of  the  stolen  money  to  the  county  officials  and  by  the 
abandonment,  of  course,  of  the  actions  against  the  insur- 
ance companies.  That  is  the  only  way  I  can  account 
for  such  unprecedented  instructions  to  drop  extradition 
proceedings  when  the  prisoner  was  before  the  United 
States  Commissioner.  I  think  it  was  a  great  miscarriage 
of  justice. 

"  Aeneas  Macdonald  was  released  in  St.  Paul  and  the 
proceedings  for  his  extradition  were  abandoned.  He 
still  is  absent  from  Canada,  and  he  never  has  returned. 
There  are  a  few  folk  who  possibly  still  cling  to  the  be- 
lief that  Aeneas  was  drowned,  and  that  the  man  arrested 
was  his  double  or  his  reincarnated  spirit.  But  there  are  not 
many  who  think  this.  All  others  in  the  united  counties 
know  that  Aeneas  Macdonald  was  not  drowned,  and  that 
he  was  apprehended  later  in  St.  Paul,  Minnesota,  and  he 
would  have  been  brought  back  but  for  the  action  of  the 
then  Deputy-Attorney-General  in  directing  that  the  ex- 
tradition proceedings  be  discontinued. 

"  Aeneas  was  inclined  to  piety  at  times.  That  may 
account  for  the  happenings  in  which  he  was  dead  and  was 
alive  again,  was  lost  and  was  found. 

"  A  few  weeks  after  my  return  from  St.  Paul  and 
Aeneas,  there  was  another  disappearance.  It  occurred 
hundreds  of  miles  from  the  old  home  of  Aeneas.  About 
five  miles  from  Thessalon,  on  the  shore  of  Georgian  Bay 


TWO  DISAPPEARANCES  287 

in  the  district  of  Manitoulin,  lived  a  family  of  farmers 
named  Gillespie.  There  was  a  pretty  thirteen-year-old 
daughter,  Maud  Gillespie.  Early  in  August,  1888,  she 
went  out  to  pick  berries  and  did  not  return.  She  was 
seen  last  near  a  trout  stream,  and  a  bully  good  trout 
stream  it  is,  as  I  happen  to  know.  Searching  parties 
went  out  and  hunted  for  days,  but  could  find  no  trace 
of  the  child.  On  August  nth  I  went  up  to  Thessalon 
and  began  another  search.  I  organised  parties  and  ap- 
portioned the  territory,  and  sent  some  on  foot  and  others 
in  boats,  and  for  days  and  nights  we  scoured  the  islands 
and  the  shores  of  Georgian  Bay.  We  visited  scores  of 
Indian  camps,  and  pushed  on  into  the  wilds,  but  could 
not  find  her.  I  knew  she  had  no  life  insurance,  and  was 
not  a  county  treasurer,  and  that  her  disappearance  there- 
fore was  not  suspicious,  so  far  as  she  was  concerned. 
Her  parents  were  well-nigh  distracted,  and  I  determined 
to  make  a  final  effort  to  find  her.  With  a  small  party  I 
went  far  up  to  remote  Indian  camps,  and  in  one  of  them 
I  found  an  old  squaw,  who  nodded  and  grunted  to  me, 
and  I  went  outside  with  her. 

"  «  White  girl  ? '  she  asked. 

"  I  nodded.     The  old  squaw  held  out  her  hand. 

" '  Give,'  she  grunted.     '  Give.' 

"  I  drew  out  some  money.  She  sniffed.  I  felt  in  my 
pockets.  I  had  a  couple  of  trout  flies  in  some  tinfoil ;  I 
took  them  out.  The  old  squaw  seized  the  glittering  tin- 
foil eagerly,  taking  my  last  trout  flies  with  it.  She 
tucked  it  in  her  jet-black  hair,  coarse  as  a  horse's  tail. 

"  '  Me — see — white  girl,'  she  muttered  slowly.  '  She 
go — so — so — so — ,'  and  she  waved  far  north  with  her 
long  arm. 

"  '  Alone  ?  '  I  asked.  '  She  go  alone  ?  Indian  take 
white  girl  ? ' 

"  But  the  old  squaw  only  grunted  and  played  with  the 
tinfoil  and  trout  flies  in  her  hair.  We  searched  farther 
north,  and  twice  we  heard  from  Indians  of  a  white  girl 
who  had  passed  that  way.  When  further  trailing  was 
hopeless  we  turned  back  and  made  our  way  to  Thessalon. 
It  was  a  long,  hard  tramp.     On  the  fourth  day  I  came  to 


288      MEMOIRS  OF  A  GREAT  DETECTIVE 

the  trout  stream,  where  the  little  girl  last  was  seen.  I 
was  tired,  and  I  stretched  full  length  on  the  ground  and 
idly  gazed  at  the  blue  sky  through  the  trees,  and  then 
rolled  over  and  stared  at  the  water.  It  was  a  lovely 
stream.  It  glided  beneath  the  overgrowth  into  a  broad, 
deep  pool,  on  whose  placid  surface  the  reflection  of  the 
waving  trees  rose  and  fell  amid  patches  of  mirrored  blue. 
Farther  down  the  stream  narrowed  and  rippled  over 
rocks,  splashing  and  gurgling  as  it  went.  But  there 
must  be  no  drifting  aside  into  a  fish  story.  I  lolled  by 
the  stream  until  my  men  came  up,  and  we  moved  on. 
No  further  trace  of  little  Maud  Gillespie  was  found,  and 
I  returned  to  Toronto.  Fifteen  years  passed.  In  May, 
1903,  a  surveying  party  was  exploring  in  New  Ontario 
north  of  Lake  Superior,  over  four  hundred  miles  from  the 
Gillespie  home.  They  came  upon  a  white  woman  living 
with  the  Indians  in  the  wilderness.  She  was  the  wife  of 
a  big  chief.  She  possessed  a  rare  beauty  of  the  wilds, 
yet  was  not  wholly  like  her  associates.  She  lived  as  an 
Indian,  and  exposure  had  tanned  her  a  deep,  dark  brown. 
At  first  she  was  unable  to  talk  with  the  white  men,  then 
gradually  her  power  of  speech  in  English  returned  until 
she  could  talk  brokenly  and  remember  a  few  English 
words.  She  finally  recalled  her  name,  Maud  Gillespie, 
and  her  mother.  They  asked  her  if  she  wished  to  go 
back  to  her  mother.  She  said  she  did,  and  they  com- 
municated with  her  people  and  she  went  back  to  them,  a 
woman  almost  thirty  years  old.  She  had  gone  away  a 
little  girl  of  thirteen,  fond  of  her  mother,  and  constantly 
talking  or  singing  in  her  childish  way.  She  returned  a 
silent,  reserved  woman,  with  the  habits  and  manner  and 
speech  of  an  Indian.  She  had  lost  her  language,  she  had 
become  an  Indian.  Gradually  her  people  are  winning 
her  back.  It  is  like  taming  a  wild  creature,  but  eventu- 
ally the  inborn  instincts  will  assert  themselves,  and  much 
of  the  Indian  life  will  fall  away.  They  have  been  teach- 
ing her  to  speak  her  own  language  again,  and  she  readily 
learned  anew  the  songs  she  sang  as  a  little  child. 

"  This  loss   of    language  is  a  singular  thing.     I  met 
an   Englishman    in   South  America  who   had   lost   his 


THE  HOLLOWED  CHOCOLATE  289 

language,  and  he  was  distressed  almost  to  distraction 
because  of  it.  I  have  seen  other  cases,  too,  passing 
strange." 


XLVIII 
THE  HOLLOWED  CHOCOLATE 

A  call  to  Gait  awaited  Murray  on  his  return  from 
Thessalon  and  the  search  for  Maud  Gillespie.  Great  ex- 
citement prevailed  in  the  county  of  Waterloo.  Many 
people  were  terrified;  others  were  infuriated.  A  fiend 
was  among  them  spreading  death  and  planning  the  ex- 
termination of  whole  families.  No  one  had  any  clue  to 
the  mysterious  one's  identity.  It  might  be  a  stranger,  it 
might  be  a  neighbour ;  it  might  be  a  person  of  high 
estate  or  it  might  be  a  creature  of  low  degree.  None 
knew,  and  there  were  myriad  suspicions.  It  was  as  if  an 
avenging  angel  or  a  deadly  devil  were  abroad  in  the 
county,  lurking  to  slay  and  escape  unseen,  leaving  no 
trace  of  the  manner  of  death.  A  victim  arose  in  the 
morning  well  and  happy,  and  fell  lifeless  before  noon 
without  a  sign  of  sickness  or  an  intimation  of  the  end. 

"  The  climax  came  when  little  Meta  Cherry,  the  three- 
year-old  daughter  of  John  Cherry,  a  prominent  mill- 
owner  of  Gait,  died  in  a  sudden  and  mysterious  way," 
says  Murray.  "  I  went  to  Gait,  a  prosperous  town  near 
Berlin,  in  the  county  of  Waterloo.  It  was  September, 
1888.  Several  persons  were  sick,  as  if  a  plague  were 
upon  them.  I  looked  at  the  little  child.  She  seemed 
startled,  even  in  death,  as  if  the  hand  that  thrust  her  into 
eternity  had  seized  her  roughly  and  scared  her.  I  talked 
with  John  Cherry,  and  he  told  me  of  a  box  of  chocolate 
drops  that  had  come  through  the  mail.  He  showed  me 
the  box.  A  few  of  the  chocolates  were  gone.  Meta 
had  eaten  them.  I  took  one  out,  and  carefully  scraped 
the  chocolate  off  with  a  knife-blade.  I  found  on  the 
bottom  of  the  chocolate  a  spot  where  a  cavity  had  been 


290     MEMOIRS  OF  A  GREAT  DETECTIVE 

bored,  and  this  had  been  filled  with  a  whitish  substance, 
unlike  the  cream  candy  of  the  chocolate,  and  the  hole 
then  had  been  sealed  deftly  by  glazing  over  the  bottom 
with  more  chocolate.  I  took  the  contents  of  the  box, 
and  sent  the  chocolates  to  Professor  Ellis  for  analysis. 

"  I  examined  the  box  minutely.  It  revealed  no  clue, 
simply  an  ordinary  pasteboard  box.  The  wrapper  in 
which  it  came  showed  a  label  pasted  over  an  old  address. 
The  address  on  this  label  was  printed  with  a  soft  lead 
pencil.  I  steamed  the  label  to  get  at  the  address  under- 
neath it,  but  it  had  been  washed  out  and  scraped  away, 
except  for  the  one  word  '  Miss.'  The  package  had  been 
mailed  in  Gait.  On  inquiry  I  learned  that  similar  pack- 
ages had  been  received  by  the  Rev.  John  Ridley,  minister 
of  the  Church  of  England  in  Gait,  and  by  Miss  May 
Lowell  and  Mrs.  Lowell,  daughter  and  wife  of  Charles 
Lowell,  proprietor  of  the  Queen's  Hotel  in  Gait.  The 
boxes  were  quite  small,  and  the  inscriptions  were  alike  as 
to  the  soft  lead  pencil.  The  packages  had  been  dropped 
in  the  mail  when  no  one  was  around,  and  the  sender  had 
vanished  unseen. 

"  Professor  Ellis  reported  that  the  cavities  in  the  choco- 
late drops  were  filled  with  strychnine.  This  established 
clearly  the  intent  of  the  poisoner  to  kill  many  people,  and 
wipe  out  a  number  of  families. 

"  I  spent  days  gathering  all  the  gossip  of  the  town  for 
generations  back,  hearing  all  the  tales  of  trouble,  and 
searching  for  some  secret  feud  or  some  deadly  hatred  that 
would  supply  a  motive  for  the  deed.  I  ransacked  an- 
cestral closets  for  family  skeletons,  and  I  poked  in  all  the 
after-dark  affairs  and  twilight  scandals  since  the  days 
when  the  oldest  inhabitants  were  gay  young  folk,  fond  of 
walking  hand-in-hand  through  the  gloaming.  I  ran 
down  secrets  that  distressed  dear  old  ladies,  and  left  them 
in  tears.  I  heard  confessions  of  errors  of  youth  that  had 
lain  locked  in  gentle  bosoms  for  many  kindly  years ;  in 
fact,  for  a  time  I  was  an  old  Paul  Pry  Gadabout,  poking 
my  nose  into  other  folk's  business,  until  I  felt  I  had  sifted 
the  lives  and  winnowed  the  chaff  from  the  wheat  in  the 
collective  career  of  the  entire  community.     Every  town 


THE  SHANTY  CITY  OF  SLABTOWN      291 

has  its  chamber  of  horrors,  where  the  sad  episodes  of  in- 
discreet living  are  laid  away  to  crumble  in  darkness,  and 
the  town  of  Gait  has  no  more  than  its  share  of  secrets  of 
the  passing  generations.  I  found  nothing-  in  the  long- 
gone  years  to  throw  light  on  the  crime.  There  was  no 
venerable  hatred  sufficient  to  inspire  the  murder  of  a  lit- 
tle child.  So  I  turned  to  later  years,  and  for  entangle- 
ments of  recent  months. 

"  In  the  meantime,  about  the  middle  of  October,  I 
arrested  Hannah  Boyd  at  Thorold.  Hannah  was  a  fine- 
looking  girl,  and  had  been  living  as  a  domestic  in  the 
Queen's  Hotel,  of  which  Mr.  Lowell  was  proprietor. 
Later  she  removed  to  Thorold,  and  worked  for  a  family 
there  as  Hannah  Bond.  Her  home  was  in  Hamilton.  I 
kept  her  a  week,  and  interviewed  her  thoroughly,  par- 
ticularly as  to  the  family  life  of  the  Lowells,  and  whether 
she  knew  of  the  receipt  of  the  package  of  chocolates  by 
Mrs.  Lowell  and  Miss  Lowell,  and  whether  she  ever  had 
heard  of  any  trouble  with  the  Ridleys,  the  Cherrys,  and 
the  Lowells.  I  was  satisfied  after  these  interviews  with 
Hannah  that  she  had  no  guilty  knowledge,  and  that  she 
had  nothing  whatever  to  do  with  sending  the  packages. 

"  I  did  develop  promptly  a  strong  suspicion  as  to  the 
person  who  did  send  the  poison  packages.  I  searched 
the  drug-stores  through  Canada,  and  examined  the 
poison-books  in  all  of  them,  and  went  so  far  as  to  de- 
scribe to  some  of  the  druggists  the  person  I  suspected ; 
but  I  found  no  clue  that  would  hold  in  a  trial  as  sufficient 
evidence  to  convict  anybody.  It  is  one  of  the  most  ag- 
gravating cases  of  my  entire  experience,  yet  I  hold  stead- 
fast to  my  first  impression." 


XLIX 

THE  SHANTY  CITY  OF  SLABTOWN 

Slabtown  is  a  sprawling  settlement  of  shanties  along 
the  feeder  to  the  Welland  Canal  on  the  outskirts  of  Dunn- 
ville  in  the  county  of  Haldimand.     It  is  a  Government 


292     MEMOIRS  OF  A  GREAT  DETECTIVE 

reserve,  and  the  residents  are  squatters.  They  are  a 
motley  population,  who  pay  no  rent,  and  fish  or  loll 
through  life  with  an  occasional  industrious  man  among 
them.  They  are  as  distinct,  in  their  way,  as  a  nation 
apart  from  Canada,  for  they  seem  to  have  a  code  of 
morals  all  their  own,  and  their  customs  in  business  are 
unique.  One  of  the  flourishing  features  of  trade  in  Slab- 
town  is  in  wives.  They  trade  wives  like  knives  in  Slab- 
town,  a  fair  swap  and  so  much  to  boot.  The  women  do 
not  object,  and  the  families  increase  and  multiply  upon 
the  bank  of  the  canal,  one  mother  and  several  fathers. 

This  results  in  quite  a  tax  on  the  memory  of  Slabtown 
society.  Mrs.  Sallie  Poney,  for  instance,  using  fictitious 
names,  had  seven  children.  One  was  Johnnie  Poney 
Scollie,  another  was  Mickey  Poney  Ready,  another  was 
Luella  Poney  Stott,  another  was  Mabelle  Poney  Watkins, 
another  was  Thomas  Poney  Colter,  another  was  Samson 
Poney  Pettingil,  and  another  was  Tillie  Poney  Scollie,  for 
in  the  end  Mrs.  Sallie  had  been  traded  back  to  the  father 
of  Johnnie  Poney  Scollie.  Tobias  Stott  could  point,  as 
could  other  men  of  Slabtown,  to  a  fine  family  of  sons  and 
daughters  scattered  through  the  shanties.  Not  all  the 
elite  of  Slabtown  were  of  the  Stott  or  Scollie  kind,  of 
course,  or  the  population  would  have  become  hopelessly 
mixed.  As  it  was,  a  man  was  living  with  his  great  aunt, 
while  an  uncle  traded  for  his  niece's  daughter  by  his 
aunt's  son.  In  fact,  one  Slabtown  dame  once  said  that 
she  had  become  her  own  mother. 

"  Shure,  Patty  Scollie  is  his  own  grandfather  for  he 
traded  for  his  father's  great  aunt's  mother's  son's  daugh- 
ter," said  she. 

A  stranger  appeared  in  Dunnville  on  October  31st, 
1888. 

"  He  was  an  old  gentleman,"  says  Murray,  "  about 
fifty-five,  well  dressed,  apparently  respectable.  He  had 
money.  About  eleven  o'clock  at  night  John  Upper, 
living  near  the  canal  bridge  on  the  edge  of  Slabtown, 
heard  a  loud  scream  and  a  splash  in  the  water,  then  a 
clatter  on  the  bridge,  as  if  a  man  ran  across  it  to  Slab- 
town.     Upper  spoke  to  several  persons  about  it,  and  in 


THE  SHANTY  CITY  OF  SLABTOWN      293 

the  morning  they  looked  for  signs  of  a  struggle  but 
nothing  was  to  be  seen.  Nine  days  later  a  body  was 
found  floating  in  the  canal  west  of  the  bridge.  It  proved 
to  be  that  of  the  old  gentleman  who  was  in  Dunnville  on 
October  31st.  He  had  been  murdered  before  the  body 
was  thrown  into  the  canal.  There  was  no  water  in  the 
lungs,  and  the  base  of  the  skull  was  fractured.  The 
pockets  were  turned  inside  out,  his  money  was  gone,  no 
papers  were  found  on  him,  and  there  was  no  clue  to  his 
identity.  He  was  last  seen  about  five  o'clock  in  the  after- 
noon on  his  way  to  Slabtown,  slightly  under  the  influence 
of  liquor.  I  sent  out  his  picture  and  long  afterwards  I 
learned  that  he  was  a  harness-maker  named  Lowrie,  from 
Toronto. 

"  The  autopsy  I  ordered,  when  I  had  the  body  ex- 
humed on  my  arrival,  showed  that  the  man  not  only  was 
dead  when  put  in  the  water  but  the  body  was  still  warm. 
This  was  shown,  said  the  doctors,  by  the  fact  that  what  a 
layman  calls  goose-flesh,  was  visible.  This  appears  and 
remains  when  a  warm  dead  body  is  put  in  the  water. 
Thus  it  was  evident  that  the  old  gentleman  had  been  at- 
tacked, had  screamed,  had  been  struck  on  the  head  with 
a  blunt  instrument  and  killed,  then  had  been  robbed  and 
the  body  thrown  in  the  water. 

"  I  became  a  frequenter  of  Slabtown.  I  collected  a 
marvellous  mass  of  information.  You  can  get  all  kinds 
of  information  in  Slabtown.  Anything  you  want  to 
know,  they  will  tell  you.  I  learned  from  a  Slabtowner, 
named  Henry  Overhold,  that  three  hours  before  John 
Upper  heard  the  scream  and  splash  in  the  night,  Joe 
Clemo,  of  Slabtown,  had  stopped  at  Overhold's,  and  told 
him  that  before  morning  he  would  be  a  rich  man.  Joe 
Clemo  then  went  out  and  returned  to  Overhold's  house 
at  seven  o'clock  in  the  morning,  and  drew  a  big  roll  of 
bills  from  his  pocket  and  slapped  them  down  on  the  floor. 

" '  Hanky,'  said  Joe  Clemo,  '  I  made  that  since  I  saw 
you  last.' 

"  Overhold  told  this  to  me  solemnly.  I  looked  up 
Joe  Clemo's  record  and  found  he  was  a  bad  egg,  and  for 
so  young  a  man  he  had  spent  much  time  in  the  peni- 


294     MEMOIRS  OF  A  GREAT  DETECTIVE 

tentiary.  I  learned  from  an  hotel  man  in  Dunnville  that, 
two  days  before  the  murder,  Joe  Clemo  had  borrowed 
five  cents.     He  always  was  broke. 

"  I  called  on  the  aristocracy  of  Slabtown.  They  re- 
ceived me  with  open  arms  and  soapsudsy  hands  or  fishy 
fingers.  Huldy  Smith  led  me  out  to  the  bank  of  the 
canal,  and  there  told  me  that  Joe  Clemo  had  called  on 
her  when  John  William  Smith  was  out. 

"  '  Joey  showed  me  the  squidge  of  bills,  and  he  shook 
them  to  me  so's  I  smelt  'em,  and  he  says  to  me: 
"  Huldy,  fly  with  me  to  the  United  States."  Joey  says 
it  to  me.' 

"  '  Was  that  all  he  said  ?  '  I  asked. 

" '  Oh,  no,'  said  Huldy.  '  He  says  he  love  me  and  I 
smelt  the  bills  again.     Bills  has  a  funny  smell.' 

" '  Didn't  Joey  tell  you  where  he  got  the  bills  ? '  I 
asked. 

"  <  No  ;  I  didn't  ask,'  said  Huldy. 

"  '  But  if  Joey  really  had  loved  you  he  would  have  told 
you  where  he  got  them,'  said  I. 

"  Huldy  bridled  up. 

"  '  Huh  ! '  said  she.  '  So  he  did  tell  me.  While  I  was 
smelling  the  bills  Joey  Clemo  whispers  to  me :  "  Huldy, 
I  love  you  ;  fly  with  me ;  and  I  killed  an  old  man  be- 
cause I  had  to  hit  him  to  rob  him,  and  I  hit  him  harder 
than  I  meant,  so  when  he  wouldn't  come  to  I  pitched 
him  in  the  canal.  Fly  with  me."  I  told  Joey  that  was 
no  way  to  get  money,  and  for  him  to  go  on  about  his 
own  business  and  fly  himself,  but  he  wouldn't  fly  me  with 
him.  I  stood  by  for  John  William,  who  ain't  hitting 
people  too  hard  on  the  head  and  pitching  bodies  into  the 
canal.' 

"  I  found  Joe  Clemo  had  skipped  out  a  few  days  after 
the  murder.  I  hunted  him  for  months,  and  finally  heard 
of  a  fellow  answering  his  description  near  Essex  Centre, 
in  the  county  of  Essex.  I  went  there  late  in  March,  and 
on  April  4th  I  arrested  the  man,  who  was  Joe  Clemo. 
He  had  stopped  at  a  farmhouse  and  was  on  his  way  to 
the  United  States.  I  handcuffed  him,  but  said  nothing 
about  the  charge  against  him. 


THE  SHANTY  CITY  OF  SLABTOWN     295 

" '  What  are  you  arrested  for  ?  '  asked  the  farmer's 
wife. 

" '  Oh,  I  am  arrested  for  murder,  that's  all,'  said  Joe 
Clemo. 

"  He  had  excellent  power  of  divination.  He  evidently 
expected  to  be  arrested  for  a  murder.  Men  who  have 
done  no  murder  seldom  expect  to  be  arrested  for  killing 
a  man.  I  took  Joe  Clemo  to  Cayuga  before  Squire  Win- 
termute,  and  I  summoned  a  number  of  Slabtown  wit- 
nesses, and  the  magistrate  was  satisfied  of  Joe  Clemo's 
guilt,  and  on  April  16th,  1889,  Joe  Clemo  was  held  for 
trial.  Sam  Smith,  who,  it  was  said,  had  been  seen  in  Joe 
Clemo's  company,  also  was  remanded.  I  arrested  Sam 
in  Dunnville,  but  later  no  bill  was  found  against  him. 

"  In  making  ready  for  the  trial  of  Joe  Clemo,  I  found 
the  Slabtowners  eager  to  be  called  in  the  case.  Every 
time  they  told  their  story  they  made  it  stronger,  as  if 
they  feared  they  would  be  overlooked  unless  their  testi- 
mony was  sensational  and  positive.  They  seemed  to 
enter  into  a  competition  to  see  who  could  tell  the  most 
damaging  story  against  Joe  Clemo.  This  rivalry  became 
so  keen  that  Joe  Clemo,  according  to  the  tales  of  the 
witnesses,  had  waved  the  bank-notes  before  several  women 
and  while  they  smelt  them,  Joe  said :  «  Fly  with  me.' 
When  Huldy  Smith  said  Joe  had  asked  her  first,  another 
promptly  declared  Joe  Clemo  had  asked  her  three  times 
and  had  showed  her  how  he  had  killed  the  old  gentleman 
and  had  dived  with  the  body  to  the  bottom  of  the  canal, 
and  had  stuck  it  head  first  in  the  bottom  so  it  would  not 
come  up,  and  had  robbed  it  under  water  so  no  one  would 
see  him  do  it.  One  of  the  women  finally  said  that  Joey 
embraced  her  and  said  :  '  You  need  not  fly  with  me,  if 
you  don't  want  to.  I  love  you  so  that  you  can  take  the 
money  and  not  fly.'  She  added  that  she  refused  the 
money.  This  aroused  other  witnesses  to  still  greater 
efforts. 

"  I  conferred,  finally,  with  Crown  Prosecutor  Colin 
Macdougall,  and  I  explained  the  situation  to  him  and  said 
frankly  that  it  was  one  of  the  strangest  cases  I  ever  had 
encountered.     Meanwhile,  the  grand  jury,  after  calling 


296     MEMOIRS  OF  A  GREAT  DETECTIVE 

only  a  few  of  the  witnesses,  had  found  a  true  bill  against 
Joe  Clemo,  and  his  trial  came  on  before  Chief  Justice 
Armour.  We  were  in  an  awkward  position.  While  I 
thought  Joe  Clemo  did  the  deed,  I  did  not  think  the  wit- 
nesses were  telling  the  truth,  as  they  kept  changing  their 
stories  constantly,  and  finally,  as  I  have  said,  got  into  a 
competition  as  to  who  could  tell  the  strongest  story. 
Joe  Clemo  was  defended  by  an  able  counsel,  the  present 
Judge  Snyder,  of  Hamilton.  I  had  a  conversation  with 
him,  and  he  had  very  little  hope  of  getting  Joe  Clemo 
out  of  his  trouble.  I  had  another  conversation  with  the 
Crown  Prosecutor  and  advised  him  to  speak  to  Chief 
Justice  Armour  about  the  matter.  I  knew  there  would 
be  no  restraining  many  of  the  witnesses,  once  they  got 
on  the  stand.  They  simply  would  vie  with  one  another 
to  tell  the  biggest  story  and  make  the  grandest  appear- 
ance on  the  witness  stand.  She  who  carried  off  the  hon- 
ours would  be  queen  of  Slabtown,  and  her  various  chil- 
dren would  bask  in  her  glory.  However,  we  hit  on  a 
plan  of  our  own. 

"  First  we  proved  the  death  of  the  old  gentleman. 
Then  we  selected  some  of  our  choicest  Slabtown  wit- 
nesses. Sarah  Scollie  was  one.  Sarah  Scollie  and  Sally 
Poney  were  not  the  same  woman.  Sarah  told  her  story. 
It  was  just  grand  to  see  her  swell  before  the  Slabtowners 
on  the  benches.     Then  came  her  cross-examination. 

" '  Are  you  married,  Sarah  ? '  asked  Mr.  Snyder  po- 
litely. 

" '  None    of    your   business,'    replied    Sarah 

haughtily,  with  her  nose  elevated  and  her  head  held 
high,  as  a  sign  of  utter  disdain. 

"  Sarah  meant  to  squelch  her  cross-examiner.  So  she 
gave  him  the  Slabtown  snub.  Her  answer  gave  the 
judge  and  jury  an  idea  of  Sarah's  character.  She  was 
instructed  to  answer  the  question. 

" '  Not  by  a sight,'  said  Sarah. 

"  She  was  asked  with  whom  she  was  living  at  that 
time. 

"  '  Sam  Smith,'  said  Sarah,  sniffing. 

"  «  How  long  have  you  lived  with  Sam  ?  ' 


THE  SHANTY  CITY  OF  SLABTOWN     297 

" '  Two  years,'  said  the  haughty  Sarah. 

"  '  With  whom  did  you  live  before  that  ?  ' 

"  '  Ben  Hughes,'  said  Sarah,  glaring. 

"  '  How  long  ?  ' 

"  '  About  a  year  and  a  half,'  said  Sarah. 

" '  Was  there  not  a  dicker  between  Sam  Smith  and  Ben 
Hughes  about  your  transfer  ?  ' 

"  Sarah  tossed  her  head  and  looked  unutterable  scorn. 

"  '  What  transfer  ? '  she  snapped. 

" '  Of  you  to  Smith.' 

"  Sarah  glared.     The  court  instructed  her  to  answer. 

"  '  Yes,'  exclaimed  Sarah.  '  A  cow  and  a  couple  of 
dollars.' 

"  Sarah  stepped  down.  Next  came  Mrs.  McCann. 
She  was  of  the  same  stripe,  only  she  was  better  natured 
than  Sarah.  She  had  lived  with  one  man  after  another 
and  there  had  been  bargains  and  barter.  After  a  few 
more  of  these  witnesses  the  judge  asked  Mr.  Macdougall 
if  that  was  the  kind  of  witnesses  the  Crown  proposed  to 
produce  throughout  the  prosecution. 

" '  We  take  the  witnesses  just  as  they  come,'  said  Mr. 
Macdougall. 

" '  Well,  I  would  not  hang  a  dog  on  the  testimony  of 
such  witnesses,'  said  the  court. 

"  We  had  some  respectable  witnesses,  but  they  were 
not  our  main  ones.  Joe  Clemo  went  free.  He  was  the 
hardest-looking  man  in  the  dock  I  ever  saw.  He  was 
cross-eyed,  so  that  he  seemed  to  hold  his  head  sidewise 
to  see  you.  He  was  so  well  known  as  a  bad  character 
that  the  jury  would  have  been  apt  to  convict  him.  I 
was  under  the  impression  he  was  guilty,  but  I  did  not 
think  it  right  to  convict  a  man  on  the  testimony  of 
people  whom  the  Crown  officers  did  not  believe  ;  and, 
under  the  circumstances,  I  was  glad  he  was  acquitted. 

"  Numerous  unsuccessful  efforts  have  been  made  to 
break  up  Slabtown.  The  ministers  and  county  councils 
and  others  have  tried  it,  but  there  it  is  and  there  it  seems 
to  stay.  There  are  honest,  industrious  folk  in  Slabtown. 
It  is  not  a  nest  of  thieves  or  a  mere  place  of  dissolute 
people.     They  simply  are  traders,  even  in  wives." 


298     MEMOIRS  OF  A  GREAT  DETECTIVE 

L 
WHY  TAMBLY  SLEEPS  IN  GEORGIAN  BAY 

High  on  a  hill  overlooking  the  waters  of  Georgian 
Bay  stands  a  white  farmhouse.  It  may  be  seen  from 
afar,  shining  like  silver  in  the  sunlight.  Mariners  know 
it  as  the  White  House  on  the  Hill.  They  point  it  out, 
across  the  waters,  a  mere  white  speck ;  or,  when  nearer, 
they  nod  towards  it,  as  if  to  the  marble  tomb  of  some 
mighty  chieftain.  A  lad  once  lived  at  this  White  House 
on  the  Hill — a  fair-haired,  blue-eyed,  merry  lad,  whose 
grandfather  carved  small  boats  for  him  and  taught  him 
to  sail  them,  first  in  the  watering  trough,  then  in  the 
duck  pond,  and  finally  in  the  creek.  The  old  man  and 
the  boy  were  wont  to  sit  for  hours  in  the  shade,  looking 
out  over  the  bay,  where  the  waters  shimmered  and 
sparkled,  where  the  ships  came  gliding  up  out  of  the  no- 
where, beyond  the  line  where  the  sky  dipped  down  to 
the  earth.  Stories  of  terrible  tempests,  tales  of  phantom 
ships,  yarns  of  gallant  seamen  and  how  they  went  to 
their  death  were  spun  by  the  old  man,  while  the  boy 
listened,  wide-eyed  and  open-mouthed. 

"  The  waters  rock  them  to  sleep,"  the  old  man  would 
say.  "  The  ships  that  go  down  are  the  cradles  in  which 
the  seamen  sleep." 

A  great  love  for  the  water  came  to  possess  the  boy. 
The  land  seemed  a  hard  and  desert  place.  He  yearned 
for  the  life  of  a  sailor.  He  used  to  tell  his  mother  of  his 
dreams,  when  golden  ships  came  sailing  over  shining  seas 
with  a  ship  for  him  on  which  his  name  glittered.  He 
plodded  on  about  the  farm,  toiling  in  the  soil  and  dream- 
ing of  the  sea. 

"  When  he  was  twenty-two  years  old,"  says  Murray, 
"  he  packed  his  duds  in  a  bundle  and  went  to  Owen 
Sound,  determined  to  be  a  sailor.  The  Baltic,  a  steamer 
plying  on  Georgian  Bay,  between  Owen  Sound  and 
Sault  Ste.  Marie,  was  in  port  at  that  time.  He  went 
aboard.     It  was  in  September,  1889. 

" '  I  want  to  ship  as  a  sailor,'  said  he. 


TAMBLY  SLEEPS  IN  GEORGIAN  BAY     299 

" '  What's  your  name  ?  '  they  asked  him. 

" '  George  Tambly,  of  the  county  of  Grey/  said  he. 

"  '  Ever  been  afloat  ?  ' 

" '  No,  I've  lived  on  a  farm  near  Wiarton.' 

"  They  laughed  ;  but  they  hired  him.  He  shipped  as 
a  deck-hand,  and  it  was  the  proudest  moment  of  his  life 
when  he  went  ashore  and  sent  word  home  that  he  had 
shipped  and  was  going  to  be  a  sailor.  The  Baltic  carried 
a  crew  of  about  ten  deck-hands,  four  firemen,  two  wheels- 
men, two  engineers,  and  a  chief  cook.  Captain  Robin- 
son was  her  master.  Many  of  the  crew  were  rough-and- 
ready  fellows,  hardened  to  the  life  they  led,  reckless  and 
devil-may-care.  They  were  a  different  crowd  from  the 
gay  adventurers  who  manned  the  shining  ships  in  the 
farmboy's  golden  dreams.  They  were  no  gentlemen 
with  velvet  coats  and  jewelled  daggers  and  bags  of  gold. 
Instead,  there  were  slovenly,  grimy,  hard-spoken  toilers, 
to  whom  life  was  a  stern  and  merciless  taskmaster,  to  be 
greeted  with  a  sneer  or  a  guffaw. 

"  The  crew  quickly  learned  of  young  Tambly 's  high 
ideals,  and  they  gibed  him  constantly.  The  green  coun- 
try boy  shrank  from  them,  and  sought  to  be  alone. 
There  was  liquor  in  the  cargo  on  this  trip.  It  was 
alleged  that  some  of  the  crew  pilfered  and  that  a  group 
of  them  broached  the  cargo.  Certain  it  is  that  they 
hunted  out  Tambly  and  dragged  him  from  his  hiding- 
place,  and  sat  him  down  in  the  centre  of  their  circle  and 
bade  him  drain  a  cup  of  liquor.  He  refused.  They 
seized  him,  to  force  it  down  his  throat.  He  set  his  jaws, 
and  they  could  not  open  them.  So  they  drank  around 
the  circle,  each  draining  the  cup  that  Tambly  had  re- 
fused. They  spat  on  the  country  boy,  and  kicked  him 
until  he  broke  away  and  hid  again. 

" '  He  knows  of  the  broached  cargo,'  said  one. 

"  '  Aye,  and  he  refused  to  join  us,'  said  another. 

"  They  debated  it  in  their  drunken  way.  Their  con- 
tempt for  the  country  boy  grew  to  dislike  and  deepened 
to  a  deadly  hatred. 

" '  Let's  coat  him,  and  make  him  dance,'  said  one. 

"  With  a  shout  they  leaped  up  to  carry  out  the  sug- 


300     MEMOIRS  OF  A  GREAT  DETECTIVE 

gestion.  Two  went  for  tar ;  one  stole  a  pillow,  and  slit 
it  open  and  made  ready  the  feathers ;  the  others  began  a 
search  for  Tambly.  They  found  him  hid  near  his  bunk. 
He  fought  and  kicked,  but  they  choaked  him  and 
dragged  him  out  in  the  moonlight.  They  stripped  off 
his  clothes  and  beat  him,  and  then  the  hot  tar  was 
brought  forth  and  they  tarred  him,  slapping  it  on  with 
paddles  and  smearing  it  over  his  naked  skin.  In  agony 
he  broke  from  his  tormentors  and  ran  around  the  ship. 
He  shouted  to  the  ship's  officers  for  mercy,  he  pleaded 
with  his  pursuers  to  have  pity.  He  fell  on  the  deck  and 
writhed  as  they  chased  after  him,  slapping  tar  on  him 
and  thumping  him  with  the  paddles.  He  knelt  in 
anguish,  and  begged  them  to  desist.  Their  answer  was 
taunts,  oaths,  and  more  tar.  The  captain  was  aware  of 
the  persecution,  but  made  light  of  it.  Then  they  chased 
him  again.  Around  and  around  the  deck  he  fled,  a 
hunted,  tortured  being,  the  tar  stiffening  and  smarting. 
In  despair  he  sprang  upon  the  rail,  and  struggled  to 
climb  beyond  reach.  They  gathered  below  him  like  a 
pack  of  hungry,  snarling  wolves. 

"  Tambly  looked  down  at  them  and  then  out  across 
the  water.  High  on  the  hillside  he  saw  a  light  shine  out, 
bright  as  the  evening  star.  It  was  the  light  of  home.  He 
knew  the  old  man  was  there,  and  probably  had  the  glad 
note  spread  out  before  him,  reading  of  how  George  had 
shipped  as  a  sailor.  A  door  in  the  farmhouse  opened, 
and  a  stream  of  light  poured  forth  like  a  beacon  to 
beckon  him  home.  The  boy,  for  he  was  only  a  boy, 
hesitated.  The  waters  looked  cold  and  dark  in  the  night. 
The  drunken  crowd  beneath  him  clamoured  for  him  to 
come  down.  One  started  to  climb  up  after  him.  The 
door  in  the  farmhouse  on  the  hill  closed.  The  light  went 
out.  His  cry  rang  out  in  the  night,  and  he  leaped.  There 
was  a  splash,  and  the  ship  went  on. 

"  The  bodies  that  go  down  in  these  waters  never  come 
up.  The  water  is  too  cold,  and  the  depths  are  far,  far 
down.  Tambly  sank,  and  never  rose  again.  Quiet  fell 
aboard  the  Baltic. 

"  A  passenger  who  was  aboard  the  steamer  on  this  trip 


REGINALD  BIRCHALL,  MURDERER      301 

heard  of  the  outrage.  He  notified  the  proper  authorities, 
and  on  the  next  trip  I  boarded  the  Baltic  at  Wiarton.  I 
made  the  trip,  and  I  drank  with  some  of  the  crew  and  got 
the  story  and  the  names,  and  I  arrested  six  of  them,  in- 
cluding Russell,  the  second  engineer ;  Tripp,  the  chief 
cook  ;  a  deck-hand  named  Jennings,  and  others.  I  took 
them  to  Owen  Sound  and  locked  them  up,  and  they  were 
committed  for  trial  for  manslaughter.  Later  four  of  them 
were  sent  to  prison.  The  captain's  licence  was  revoked 
for  a  year. 

"  I  went  to  Tambly's  house.  I  asked  what  they  last 
heard  from  the  boy.  They  told  me  that  they  had 
received  his  note  about  shipping  as  a  sailor ;  and  the  old 
man  had  taken  it  out  again,  for  the  hundredth  time,  to 
read  it,  and  as  he  read  he  thought  he  heard  a  cry  in  the 
night. 

"  •  I  thought  George  was  calling,'  said  the  old  man,  and 
he  opened  the  door  and  stepped  outside  and  listened. 

"  Far  out  on  the  water  he  could  see  a  steamer's  lights. 
He  heard  nothing  and  went  indoors. 

"  '  I  thought  George  called,'  he  said,  '  but  I  was  mis- 
taken. George  is  where,  even  if  he  called,  I  could  not 
hear.' 

"  The  old  man  was  right.  George,  far  down  in  the  icy 
waters,  was  where,  even  if  he  called,  the  old  man  could 
not  hear." 


LI 

REGINALD  BIRCHALL:    OCCUPATION,  MURDERER 

Thick  grow  the  briars  in  Blenheim  Swamp.  Fallen 
logs  and  tangled  thickets  mingle  in  a  maze,  impassable 
save  where  paths  penetrate  the  dense  underbrush.  Deso- 
lation and  loneliness  pervade  the  place.  The  spirit  of 
solitude  broods  over  the  marsh.  Wild  creatures  are  its 
only  habitants.  They  flit  to  and  fro,  their  weird  cries 
echoing  in  the  stillness.  On  an  edge  of  it  is  a  deep  and 
silent  pool,  Pine   Pond.     Its  inner  fastnesses  for  many 


302     MEMOIRS  OF  A  GREAT  DETECTIVE 

years  were  an  undiscovered  country,  from  whose  bourne 
at  least  one  traveller  did  not  return.  The  bones  of  dead 
men  had  been  found  in  the  swamp ;  but  not  until  Feb- 
ruary, 1 890,  did  it  reveal  a  body  lately  dead — a  body  that 
lay  like  a  bundle,  half  concealed.  Two  woodsmen  pass- 
ing came  upon  it  and  rolled  it  over.  Two  long  arms 
flapped  lifelessly,  two  glassy  eyes  stared  vacantly,  and  a 
cold,  white  face  turned  skyward,  with  a  purple  blotch  to 
tell  where  a  bullet  bored  its  fatal  way. 

Only  the  wild  creatures  of  the  swamp  had  beheld  the 
tragedy.  From  the  tree-tops  and  the  moss  lands  they  saw 
a  young  man,  a  gentleman,  come  walking  up  an  old  nar- 
row trail.  Gaily  he  came.  He  was  smoking,  and  gazed 
eagerly  ahead  as  if  the  bush-grown  road  were  a  golden 
highway  to  a  promised  land.  They  saw  him  point  for- 
ward and  press  on.  They  saw  death  walking  at  his  elbow 
— a  second  figure,  handsome  and  alert,  swift  of  move- 
ment, stealthy,  noiseless.  They  saw  the  glitter  of  steel, 
the  flash  of  flame,  the  puff  of  smoke,  and  heard  the  ex- 
plosion ring  out  through  the  forest.  They  saw  the 
blithesome  young  gentleman  lurch  forward,  sway  and 
fall,  as  a  second  shot  went  echoing  over  the  marsh. 
They  saw  the  murderer  coolly  feel  the  pulse,  quietly 
search  the  pockets,  then  deliberately  produce  a  pair  of 
scissors  and  clip  from  the  dead  man's  clothes  all  telltale 
traces  of  his  identity  or  of  the  place  whence  he  came. 
Nothing  was  done  hurriedly.  The  noise  of  the  shots  was 
the  rudest  part  of  it.  All  else  was  done  softly,  placidly. 
The  murderer  raised  the  body  by  the  arms  and  started 
towards  Pine  Pond,  but  the  way  was  choked  with  tan- 
gles, and  the  blood  left  a  crimson  trail.  So  he  laid  the 
body  down  in  a  lonely  spot,  hid  it  as  best  he  could  with- 
out too  great  exertion,  washed  his  hands  in  a  pool,  and 
walked  briskly  out  of  the  swamp,  whistling  softly  a  merry 
tune. 

The  murderer  neither  hurried  nor  lagged.  He  cast  no 
furtive  glances  around  him.  Perfect  self-possession  marked 
his  mien.  He  seemed  to  have  no  fear.  He  skirted  Pine 
Pond,  whose  unfathomed  depths  would  have  told  no  tale 
if  the  body  had  been  buried  there.     All  was  silent,  for 


REGINALD  BIRCHALL,  MURDERER      303 

picnic  parties  had  not  visited  the  pond  since  a  fire  and 
storm  felled  trees  and  blocked  the  way.  He  vanished 
down  the  picnic  road,  where  the  year  before  jolly  parties 
journeyed  on  merry  outings,  and  where  Lord  and  Lady 
Somerset,  spending  some  months  at  Woodstock,  eight 
miles  away,  were  fond  of  coming  to  explore  the  Blenheim 
Swamp  before  they  returned  to  England. 

"  The  body  was  found,"  says  Murray,  "  by  the  Elridge 
brothers,  Joseph  and  George.  They  lived  in  that  vicinity, 
and  were  out  chopping  on  Friday,  February  21st,  and  one 
of  them,  in  the  tangle  of  the  bog,  amid  a  snarl  of  logs, 
and  vines,  and  briars,  and  brush,  stepped  on  the  body, 
slipped,  and  almost  fell  upon  it.  They  bore  it  out  of  the 
swamp,  and,  in  response  to  a  telegram  to  the  Department 
of  Justice,  I  went  immediately  to  the  township  of  Blen- 
heim, in  the  county  of  Oxford,  and  saw  the  body.  It 
was  the  body  of  a  young  man,  smooth  shaven,  of  refined 
appearance,  and  clearly  a  gentleman.  The  clothing  was 
English  in  style  and  cut,  with  a  check  caped  mackintosh. 
The  underclothing  was  of  English  make,  for  I  had 
ordered  some  of  the  same  kind  and  make  in  England 
some  months  before.  There  was  no  clue  to  his  identity. 
The  name  of  his  tailor  and  the  label  on  his  clothes  had 
been  cut  out  carefully.  The  label  of  his  brown  Derby 
hat  had  been  removed.  Even  a  possible  telltale  button 
had  been  severed.  I  sat  down  with  the  body,  placing  it 
in  a  sitting  posture  opposite  me.  I  looked  at  it  as  if  it 
were  a  man  asleep.  He  was  little  more  than  a  big  boy, 
a  gentle  lad,  a  youth  just  out  of  his  teens,  a  refined  son  of 
refined  parents.  In  the  back  of  his  head  was  the  purplish 
black  hole  of  the  bullet,  and  near  the  nape  of  the  neck 
was  another.  He  had  been  shot  from  behind ;  perhaps 
he  never  knew  who  shot  him.  Death  crashed  upon  him 
from  the  rear,  and  he  fell  without  a  glimpse  of  his 
murderer. 

"  What  could  have  brought  this  young  Englishman  of 
gentle  birth  to  this  desolate  spot,  and  what  could  have 
been  the  motive  for  his  murder?  Possibly  he  had  been 
murdered  elsewhere,  and  the  body  taken  secretly  to  the 
swamp  and  hid,  to  shrivel  and  wither  and  crumble  away 


304     MEMOIRS  OF  A  GREAT  DETECTIVE 

until  only  a  string  of  dead  men's  bones  remained  to  tell  of 
the  tragedy. 

"  '  Who  are  you  ? '  I  asked  the  dead  body  as  it  sat 
facing  me ;  but,  in  answer,  it  lurched  forward  and  fell  on 
its  face. 

"  I  had  it  photographed.  I  gave  copies  of  the  photo- 
graph to  the  newspapers  of  Canada,  and  requested  them 
to  print  the  picture  and  to  ask  other  papers  throughout 
the  United  States  and  England  to  reproduce  it.  I  hoped 
that  some  one  somewhere  in  the  world,  seeing  the  face 
of  the  unknown  dead,  would  recognise  it,  and  thus  solve 
the  mystery  of  his  identity.  Even  in  death  he  was  so 
typically  English,  so  characteristically  British,  that  I  said 
at  once  he  was  not  from  Canada  or  the  States,  but  was 
from  England.     But  where  had  he  been  murdered  ? 

"  I  went  to  the  snarl  in  the  bog  in  Blenheim  Swamp 
where  the  body  had  been  found.  I  saw  where  it  had 
lain,  half  hid,  where  only  an  accidental  stumbling  on  it 
would  have  revealed  its  presence.  I  pondered  on  the 
mystery  of  Providence  in  guiding  the  Elridges  to  the 
precise  spot  where  the  body  lay.  A  regiment  of  hunters 
might  have  tramped  through  the  swamp  and  not  come 
upon  it,  yet  one  of  these  two  brothers,  by  favour  of  good 
fortune,  had  slipped  and  stepped  on  it,  and  so  discovered 
it.  I  saw  the  crimson  stain  where  the  head  had  been. 
I  crawled  on  hands  and  knees  over  the  surrounding 
ground,  and  I  found  a  crimson  trail.  I  followed  it  back 
a  few  paces,  and  it  stopped  in  a  blotch  of  blood.  Beyond 
the  blotch  there  was  no  further  trace  of  blood.  Here 
the  murder  had  been  done,  here  the  shot  had  been  fired, 
here  the  victim  had  fallen.  His  murderer  had  borne  him 
to  the  denser  place  and  hid  him  there.  I  crawled  about 
the  scene  of  the  crime.  I  went  over  the  ground  inch  by 
inch.  On  three  separate  visits  I  did  this,  hoping  that 
some  clue,  some  bit  of  a  label,  some  little  button,  some 
shred  out  of  his  past  life,  might  be  lying  in  the  swamp- 
land. On  my  last  search  I  came  upon  a  cigar-holder 
with  an  amber  mouthpiece  marked  '  F.  W.  B.'  It  was 
half  buried,  as  if  it  had  been  stepped  on.  It  was  the 
first  clue. 


REGINALD  BIRCHALL,  MURDERER      305 

"  Five  days  had  passed  since  the  finding  of  the  body. 
No  identification  came.  The  picture  was  in  all  the  lead- 
ing papers  in  Canada,  and  in  a  few  days  more  it  would 
be  published  in  England.  The  body  was  buried  at 
Princeton,  a  town  a  few  miles  from  Blenheim  Swamp. 
On  the  sixth  day  a  man  and  woman  arrived  at  Princeton, 
and  asked  to  see  the  body  of  the  young  man  who  had 
been  found  in  a  swamp,  and  whose  picture  had  been 
printed  in  the  papers.  They  said  they  had  crossed  from 
England  recently,  and  on  the  same  ship  was  a  young 
man  who  resembled  strongly  the  picture  of  the  dead 
man.  The  body  was  dug  up  on  March  1st.  The  lady 
and  gentleman  looked  at  it,  and  both  identified  it  as  the 
body  of  their  fellow  passenger,  and  both  were  shocked 
deeply. 

"  '  His  name,  we  think,  was  Benwell,'  they  said.  '  He 
was  merely  a  casual  acquaintance  aboard  ship,  and  we 
knew  nothing  of  him.' 

"  The  lady  and  gentleman  returned  to  Paris,  about  ten 
miles  from  Princeton.  I  had  been  to  the  swamp  and  out 
among  the  people  living  in  that  section,  seeing  them  one 
by  one,  and  I  returned  in  time  to  join  the  lady  and  gentle- 
man at  Paris.  We  met  in  the  hotel.  I  introduced  my- 
self, and  the  three  of  us  were  alone  in  the  parlour 
up-stairs. 

"  '  I  am  J.  W.  Murray,  of  the  Department  of  Criminal 
Investigation,'  I  said.  •  You  are  the  gentleman  who  has 
been  out  looking  at  the  body  of  the  young  man  found  in 
the  swamp  ? ' 

"  The  gentleman  was  dressed  in  perfect  taste.  He  was 
handsome  and  easy  in  manner,  with  a  certain  grace  of 
bearing  that  was  quite  attractive.  He  came  towards  me, 
and  I  saw  he  was  about  five  feet  nine  inches  tall,  supple, 
clean  cut,  well  built.  His  hair  was  dark  and  fashionably 
worn  ;  his  forehead  was  broad  and  low.  He  wore  a  light 
moustache.  Two  dark-brown  eyes  flashed  at  me  in  greet- 
ing. Clearly  he  was  a  man  of  the  world,  a  gentleman, 
accustomed  to  the  good  things  of  life,  a  likeable  chap, 
who  had  lived  well  and  seen  much  and  enjoyed  it  in  his 
less  than  thirty  years  on  earth.     The  lady  stood  by  the 


306     MEMOIRS  OF  A  GREAT  DETECTIVE 

window  looking  out.  She  was  a  slender,  pleasant-faced 
blonde,  a  bit  weary  about  the  eyes,  but  evidently  a  woman 
of  refinement.  She  half  turned  and  watched  us  as  the 
man  advanced  to  meet  me. 

"  '  Yes,'  said  he,  in  quiet,  well-modulated  voice ;  '  my 
wife  and  I  were  out  at  the  grave  and  saw  the  body.' 

"  The  lady  shuddered.  The  man  continued  that  he 
was  very  glad  to  meet  me. 

"  '  You  knew  the  young  man  ? '  I  asked. 

"  '  Yes,  very  slightly,'  said  he. 

"  '  Ah,  I  am  very  glad  to  hear  it,'  said  I.  '  At  last  we 
may  know  who  he  is.     Where  did  you  meet  him  ? ' 

"  '  In  London,'  said  he. 

"  '  London,  Ontario,  or  London,  England?'  said  I. 

" '  He  came  from  London,  England,'  said  he.  '  A 
mere  casual  acquaintance.  I  met  him,  don't  you  know, 
on  the  ship — aboard  ship,  in  fact' 

"  '  His  name  ? '  I  asked. 

"  '  I  think  it  was  Bentwell,  or  Benswell,  or  Benwell,' 
said  he.     '  I  knew  him  very  slightly.' 

"  «  What  ship  ? '  said  I. 

"  '  The  Britannic  of  the  White  Star  Line,'  said  he. 
*  We  arrived  in  New  York  on  Friday,  February  14th.' 

"  '  When  did  you  last  see  the  young  man  alive?'  I  asked. 

"  '  He  was  on  his  way  to  London,  Ontario,  and  as  we 
were  travelling  to  the  Falls  our  way  was  the  same.  I  last 
saw  him  at  the  Falls.  He  had  a  great  deal  of  luggage 
down  there.     He  left  some  of  it,  in  fact.' 

"  •  I'm  very  glad  to  know  this,'  said  I  gratefully.  '  You 
will  be  able  to  point  out  his  luggage  ? ' 

"  <  Yes,'  said  he.  '  I'll  be  very  glad  to  aid  you.  I  am 
returning  to  the  Falls  to-day.  We  came,  you  know, 
because  we  saw  the  picture  in  the  paper.' 

" '  Will  you  take  charge  of  the  luggage  for  me  ? '  I 
asked. 

"  «  Gladly,'  said  he. 

"  '  Your  name,  so  that  I  may  find  you  at  the  Falls  ? '  I 
asked. 

"  '  Birchall,'  said  he.  '  Reginald  Birchall,  of  London — 
London,  England.' 


REGINALD  BIRCHALL,  MURDERER      307 

"  '  Very  glad  to  know  you,  Mr.  Birchall ;  very  glad 
indeed,'  said  I. 

"  During  our  conversation  he  became  quite  familiar 
and  talkative.  His  wife  was  very  nervous,  as  if  the  sight 
of  a  dead  body  had  upset  her.  She  began  to  pace  up 
and  down  the  room. 

♦"How  was  the  young  man  dressed  when  you  last  saw 
him  ?  '  I  asked. 

"  I  had  a  navy-blue  overcoat  on  at  the  time.  Mr. 
Birchall  put  his  hand  on  the  coat  sleeve.  There  was  no 
tremor  in  it.     I  noted  it  was  rather  a  dainty  hand. 

"  '  Like  that,'  he  said. 

"  '  A  whole  suit  of  that  colour  ? '  I  asked. 

"  '  Yes,'  said  he. 

"  '  Would  he  take  a  glass,  do  you  know  ? ' 

"  '  Oh,  yes,  he  used  to  get  very  jolly,'  said  he. 

" '  That  London,  Ontario,  is  a  bad  place,'  said  I. 
'  They'd  kill  a  man  for  a  five-dollar  note  there.  And  this 
poor  young  man  went  to  London,  eh  ?  ' 

"  I  could  see  the  wife's  face  clear  with  an  expression 
of  relief.  The  man  reiterated  his  pity  for  the  young 
man,  and  his  desire  to  be  of  any  service  possible  to  me. 
We  chatted  quite  cordially. 

"  '  Were  you  ever  on  the  continent  before  ? '  I  asked. 

" '  Yes,  New  York  and  Niagara  Falls,  but  never  in 
Canada,'  said  he. 

"  After  further  conversation  I  produced  my  note-book. 

"  '  I  am  greatly  indebted  to  you,  my  dear  sir,  for  your 
kindness,'  said  I.  '  This  information  is  most  valuable.  It 
tells  us  just  what  we  wish  to  know.  May  I  trouble  you  to 
repeat  it,  so  that  I  may  note  it  accurately  ?  ' 

"  The  lady  began  to  pace  the  floor  again.  The  man 
told  once  more  the  story  he  had  told  to  me.  He  made 
occasional  pauses  to  ask  the  lady  a  question,  as  if  his  own 
memory  had  failed  to  note  certain  desired  details  of  a 
casual  acquaintance.  She  answered  in  a  weary,  anxious 
voice. 

" '  And  I  bade  him  good-bye  at  the  Falls,'  he  con- 
cluded, '  and  he  went  on  to  London,  Ontario.' 

"'  Did  you  hear  from  him  ?  '  I  asked. 


3o8     MEMOIRS  OF  A  GREAT  DETECTIVE 

"  '  Just  a  line,'  he  said. 

"  '  Have  you  got  it  ?  '  I  asked. 

" '  Have  I  got  Fred's  note,  my  dear  ? '  he  asked  his 
wife. 

" '  No,'  said  the  lady,  '  but  I  remember  seeing  it.' 

"  '  It  was  just  a  note  to  get  his  luggage  through,'  said  he. 

"  '  His  first  name  was  Fred  ? '  I  asked. 

" '  I  think  so,'  he  said  quietly,  as  we  eyed  each  other. 
'  It  was  so  signed  in  the  note.' 

"  His  manner  changed  to  even  effusive  cordiality. 

"  '  Mr.  Murray,  come  down  and  spend  Sunday  with  us 
at  the  Falls,'  he  said  heartily. 

"  '  Delighted,  but  I  must  go  to  Toronto,'  said  I. 

"  '  Toronto  ! '  said  he.  '  I'd  like  to  see  Toronto.  My 
dear,  will  you  go  to  Toronto  on  Sunday  as  Mr.  Murray's 
guest  ? ' 

"  '  Unfortunately  I  will  not  be  home  on  Sunday,'  said 
I.  »  Will  you  meet  me  at  nine  o'clock  on  Monday  morn- 
ing at  the  Falls,  and  get  all  the  luggage  at  the  Customs 
House?' 

"  '  Delighted  to  aid  you,'  said  he. 

"  We  shook  hands  and  bowed.  The  tired  lady  bowed, 
and  I  withdrew.  I  walked  straight  to  the  telegraph  of- 
fice. On  the  way  I  thought  it  over.  The  man  was 
lying ;  I  was  sure  of  it.  Yet,  if  he  knew  aught  of  the 
crime,  why  should  he  come  to  Canada  at  least  a  week 
after  the  deed  was  done  and  identify  the  body  ?  The  au- 
topsy had  shown  the  young  man  had  been  dead  a  few 
days,  but  not  over  a  week ;  so  it  was  within  eight  or  ten 
days  after  the  murder  that  this  suave,  handsome  English- 
man and  his  gentle  wife  had  come  from  the  Falls  to  Paris 
and  thence  to  Princeton  to  view  the  body.  Why  had 
they  come  ?  This  story  of  seeing  the  picture  in  the  pa- 
per was  quite  plausible.  If  he  were  telling  the  truth  I 
could  understand  it,  but  I  was  satisfied  he  was  lying. 
Yet  the  London,  Ontario,  part  of  it  might  be  true.  I 
wanted  a  few  hours  to  investigate  it  and  make  sure.  So  I 
entered  the  telegraph  office  and  sent  a  telegram  to  the 
Falls,  describing  Birchall  and  telling  of  his  return  to  the 
Falls  later  that  day. 


REGINALD  BIRCHALL,  MURDERER      309 

"  '  Shadow  this  man,'  I  telegraphed.  '  Do  not  arrest 
him  unless  he  tries  to  cross  the  river  to  the  States.  I  will 
be  there  Sunday  night.' 

"  I  jumped  to  London,  Ontario,  and  called  on  acquaint- 
ances there  for  trace  of  this  young  Fred  Benwell. 
Among  those  I  saw  was  Edward  Meredith,  a  lawyer,  to 
whom  I  spoke  of  Benwell  and  the  steamer  Britannic,  and 
he  told  me  that  Barrister  Hellmuth,  of  London,  Ontario, 
had  returned  from  England  on  the  Britannic.  I  made 
sure  that  Benwell,  or  whoever  the  young  man  was,  had 
not  been  to  see  Attorney  Hellmuth ;  in  fact,  I  scoured 
London,  and  satisfied  myself  he  had  not  been  there 
at  all.  Birchall  and  his  wife,  meanwhile,  had  returned  to 
Niagara  Falls,  Ontario ;  and  on  March  2d  Birchall  was 
arrested,  his  wife  being  taken  into  custody  two  days  later. 
They  were  remanded  until  March  12th. 

"  I  found  that  Birchall  and  Mrs.  Birchall  and  a  young 
man  named  Douglas  Raymond  Pelly  were  stopping  at 
Baldwin's  at  Niagara  Falls,  and  had  arrived  there  the  day 
after  the  murder.  I  saw  Mr.  Pelly.  He  was  a  handsome 
young  fellow,  about  five  feet  nine  inches  tall,  slight  build, 
small  light  moustache,  and  a  decided  English  accent. 
He  told  me  he  was  the  son  of  the  Rev.  R.  P.  Pelly,  of 
Walton  Place,  Vicar  of  Saffron  Walden,  Essex,  England. 
He  was  twenty-five  years  old,  a  graduate  of  Oxford,  and 
a  cousin  of  the  beautiful  Lady  Pelly,  who  was  one  of  the 
suite  of  Lord  Lansdowne,  formerly  Governor-General  of 
Canada.  He  told  me  he  knew  both  the  dead  man,  whose 
picture  was  in  the  papers,  and  Birchall. 

" '  Benwell,  Birchall,  Mrs.  Birchall,  and  I  all  came  out 
from  England  in  one  party,'  said  Pelly.  '  Birchall  and 
Benwell  left  us  for  a  day,  and  Benwell  never  came  back. 
I  saw  the  picture  of  the  dead  man  in  the  paper  a  few  days 
later,  and  I  told  Birchall  it  was  Benwell,  and  that  he 
ought  to  go  and  identify  the  body  and  make  sure.' 

"  I  sat  down  with  Pelly,  and  for  several  hours  he 
talked,  telling  me  what  he  knew  of  Benwell  and  Birchall. 
Among  Birchall's  papers,  found  in  searching  his  effects, 
were  letters  corroborative  of  what  Pelly  said.  Pelly,  with 
his  Oxford  course  finished  and  the  world  before  him,  was 


3io     MEMOIRS  OF  A  GREAT  DETECTIVE 

looking  for  an  opening  in  life  when,  in  December,  1889, 
he  read  an  advertisement  in  London,  England,  newspa- 
pers as  follows : 

'  Canada. — University  man — having  farm — wishes 
to  meet  gentleman's  son  to  live  with  him  and  learn 
the  business,  with  view  to  partnership  ;  must  invest 
five  hundred  pounds  to  extend  stock  ;  board,  lodging, 
and  5  per  cent,  interest  till  partnership  arranged. — 
Address,  J.  R.  Burchett,  Primrose  Club,  4,  Park 
Place,  St.  James',  London.' 

"  Pelly  saw  this  advertisement,  and  wrote  to  J.  R. 
Burchett  about  it,  asking  for  particulars.  He  received 
in  reply,  on  December  9th,  a  telegram  from  J.  R. 
Burchell,  stating  that  he  would  go  down  to  Walden 
Place,  Saffron  Walden,  on  the  following  Thursday.  Pelly 
answered  with  a  note,  which  was  found  with  other  letters 
in  Birchall's  effects,  hoping  he  would  stay  all  night  as  it 
was  a  long  way  to  come  for  such  a  short  interview,  and 
also  as  he  desired  to  have  his  father  meet  J.  R.  Burchell. 
On  the  appointed  day  J.  R.  Burchell  arrived  at  Walden 
Place,  and  later  met  Pelly  in  London,  and  won  over  both 
Pelly  and  his  father.  He  pictured  to  them  a  large  farm 
one  and  a  half  miles  from  Niagara  Falls,  Ontario  ;  a  farm 
with  large  brick  houses  and  barns,  the  former  heated  by 
steam  and  lighted  by  gas  and  the  latter  by  electric  light, 
with  lights  placed  around  the  farm.  He  told  of  the  big 
and  profitable  business,  and  mentioned  the  fine  fishing, 
shooting,  and  other  sports  to  be  enjoyed  on  the  farm. 
He  explained  that  the  business  carried  on  was  buying 
horses  in  the  rough  and  grooming  them  to  sell  for  profit ; 
that  the  farm  was  used  to  raise  horse  feed;  that  during  J. 
R.  Burchell's  absence,  his  overseer,  a  Scotchman  named 
McDonald,  and  several  hired  men  looked  after  the  farm 
and  business ;  that  he  had  a  branch  business  at  Wood- 
stock, and  had  rooms  there,  where  he  and  Mrs.  Burchell 
lived  at  times.  He  said  a  number  of  Englishmen  lived 
around  Niagara  Falls,  and  that  a  club  had  been  created 
in   which  the  members  lived  in  English  style  and  had 


REGINALD  BIRCHALL,  MURDERER      311 

English  servants.  J.  R.  Burchell  said  he  organised  the 
club.  The  country  was  an  earthly  paradise,  with  wealth 
to  be  had  for  simply  sojourning  in  the  land.  This  glow- 
ing description  captivated  Pelly,  and  on  January  nth, 
1890,  he  wrote  from  Hollington,  St.  Leonard's-on-Sea,  to 
J.  R.  Burchell,  saying:  'Please  consider  all  settled.  If 
you  will  have  the  agreement  drawn  up,  I  will  sign  it  and 
forward  you  a  cheque  for  one  hundred  and  seventy 
pounds  at  the  same  time.  I  shall  look  to  meeting  you 
on  February  1st.  When  you  get  my  steamer  tickets 
would  you  be  so  kind  as  to  forward  me  some  steamer  la- 
bels at  the  same  time  ? ' 

"  References  had  been  exchanged.  Pelly  had  referred 
J.  R.  Burchell  to  Edward  Cutler,  Esq.,  Q.C.,  12,  Old 
Square,  Lincoln's  Inn ;  Godfrey  Lawford,  Esq.,  28, 
Austin  Friars,  E.C.,  and  the  Rev.  Alfred  Rose,  Emman- 
uel College,  Cambridge.  J.  R.  Burchell  referred  to 
David  Stevenson,  Bainbridge,  Maberley  Road,  Upper 
Norwood,  master  of  transportation  of  the  London  and 
North-Western  Railroad.  J.  R.  Burchell  drew  up  the 
following  agreement : 


'  Memorandum  of  agreement,  made  this  day 

of  ,  1890,  between  J.  R.  Burchell,  of  Niagara, 

Ontario,  Canada,  and  Bainbridge,  Maberley  Road, 
Upper  Norwood,  England,  on  the  one  part,  and 
D.  R.  Pelly,  of  Walden  Place,  Saffron  Walden,  in 
the  county  of  Essex,  on  the  other  part,  to  the  effect 
that  the  said  J.  R.  Burchell  agrees  to  provide  the 
said  D.  R.  Pelly  with  board,  lodging,  washing,  and 
household  extras  for  one  year,  also  with  travelling 
expenses  in  Canada  and  United  States,  use  of  horses, 
carriages,  sleighs,  and  such  things  as  he  may  require 
pertaining  to  his  business  ;  also  for  the  space  of  one 
year  :  the  said  D.  R.  Pelly  in  consideration  of  the 
same,  one  hundred  and  seventy  pounds,  agrees  to 
pay  the  sum  of  one  hundred  and  seventy  pounds 
sterling,  the  money  to  be  invested  in  stock  (horses) ; 
this  sum  to  be  repaid  together  with  interest  at  five 


312     MEMOIRS  OF  A  GREAT  DETECTIVE 

per  cent,  per  annum  in  case  the  said  D.  R.  Pelly 
does  not  stay  beyond  the  year  before  mentioned. 
If  the  said  D.  R.  Pelly  should  stay  for  a  longer 
period,  then  the  aforesaid  sum  to  be  repaid  or  ap- 
plied as  the  said  D.  R.  Pelly  shall  determine. 

'  The  year  mentioned  to  date  from  the  signing  of 
this  agreement.' 

"  A  copy  of  this  agreement  I  found  in  Birchall's  hand- 
writing, and  beneath  it  were  scribbled  various  names,  in- 
cluding A.  Sloden  Jones,  18,  Talbot  Road,  Bayswater ; 
J.  R.  Birtwistle,  Fred  Beteor,  H.  H.  Foxby,  J.  B.  Simons, 
Dear  Miss  Lovett,  the  Rev.  J.  Readon,  and  Alfred  A. 
Atkinson. 

"  Pelly  continuing  his  story,  told  me  that  he  met  Mr. 
and  Mrs.  Birchall  on  February  5th,  and  boarded  the 
Britannic  at  Liverpool.  To  his  surprise  he  found  a 
fourth  member  of  the  party,  a  young  man  whom  Birchall 
introduced  to  him  as  Fred  C.  Benwell,  son  of  Colonel 
Benwell,  of  Cheltenham,  England.  Birchall  intimated  to 
Pelly  that  Benwell  was  not  much  of  a  fellow,  but  that  he 
was  simply  crossing  with  them  to  a  farm,  and  that  it 
would  be  just  as  well  for  Pelly  to  have  nothing  to  do  with 
him.  So  Pelly  treated  Benwell  rather  distantly,  and  de- 
voted himself  to  Mrs.  Birchall  and  Birchall  on  the  voy- 
age. Benwell  seemed  to  reciprocate  by  treating  Pelly 
coolly,  so  Birchall  deftly  kept  the  two  young  men  from 
becoming  familiar  and  confidential.  Finally  Benwell  and 
Pelly  chatted  together  and  Benwell  told  Pelly  he,  too,  was 
to  join  Birchall  in  the  horse  business.  Pelly  went  to 
Birchall  and  threatened  to  withdraw.  Birchall  pacified 
him,  saying  :  '  Never  mind,  I  shall  find  some  way  to  get 
rid  of  him.'  Birchall  enlivened  the  voyage  with  glowing 
pictures  of  the  profits  awaiting  them. 

"  The  Britannic  arrived  in  New  York  on  February 
14th.  The  Birchalls,  Pelly,  and  Benwell  went  to  the 
Metropolitan  Hotel.  While  there  they  met  a  fellow 
from  Woodstock,  Neville  H.  Pickthall,  who  greeted 
Birchall  and  his  wife. 

" '  Why,    Lord    Somerset    and   Lady   Somerset,'    ex- 


REGINALD  BIRCHALL,  MURDERER      313 

claimed  Pickthall,  the  moment  he  saw  them.  '  De- 
lighted !     Are  you  on  your  way  back  to  Woodstock  ?  ' 

"  Birchall  got  free  from  Pickthall  with  little  ceremony. 
Later  some  people  supposed  Pickthall  had  gone  to  New 
York  to  meet  Birchall,  but  it  turned  out  that  green  goods 
men  had  persuaded  Pickthall  to  borrow  $1,000,  on  his 
farm  and  go  to  New  York  to  buy  a  lot  of  bogus  money. 
Pickthall  went,  and  happened  to  be  there  when  the 
Birchall  party  appeared  at  the  hotel.  The  same  day  the 
green  goods  men  got  Pickthall's  $1,000,  and  sent  him  out 
to  Denver,  Colorado,  on  a  wild-goose  chase,  and  he 
turned  up  in  Denver  broke,  and  wrote  to  friends  in 
Woodstock,  and  I  had  him  back  to  testify  at  the  trial. 

"  Pelly  said  their  party  stayed  overnight  at  the  Metro- 
politan Hotel,  and  the  next  day,  February  15th,  they 
went  to  Buffalo,  arriving  there  on  the  morning  of  Feb- 
ruary 1 6th,  and  registering  at  the  Stafford  House.  Each 
young  man  was  eager  to  see  the  mythical  farm.  It  was 
only  a  couple  of  hours  from  Buffalo,  said  Birchall.  Mrs. 
Birchall  preferred  to  wait  in  Buffalo  until  sure  everything 
was  all  right  at  the  farm  for  her  reception  there.  Pelly 
gallantly  agreed  to  tarry  with  Mrs.  Birchall  while  Birchall 
and  Penwell  went  on  to  the  farm  to  surprise  the  em- 
ployees. If  all  was  well  at  the  farm,  Benwell  would  re- 
main there,  and  Birchall  would  return  and  take  Mrs. 
Birchall  and  Pelly  to  the  farm.  Benwell  and  Birchall 
were  to  start  at  six  o'clock  the  next  morning.  They  did 
so,  leaving  the  Stafford  House  bright  and  early  on  the 
morning  of  February  17th,  to  take  a  Grand  Trunk  train 
to  the  farm. 

"  Birchall  returned  to  the  Stafford  House  in  Buffalo 
alone  at  half-past  eight  that  evening.  He  was  in  good 
humour,  pleasant  and  laughing.  Pelly  asked  where  he 
had  left  Benwell.  Birchall  said  he  took  Benwell  to  the 
farm  and  introduced  him  to  McDonald,  the  overseer,  and 
later  in  the  day  Benwell  had  told  him  he  did  not  like  the 
place,  and  did  not  care  to  associate  with  such  people,  and 
that  Benwell  had  eaten  nothing  all  day,  but  had  stayed  at 
the  farm  when  Birchall  left  for  Buffalo.  Birchall  said  he 
gave  Benwell  some  addresses  before  leaving,  so  he  could 


314     MEMOIRS  OF  A  GREAT  DETECTIVE 

visit  folk  in  the  country  roundabout,  including  Attorney 
Hellmuth,  of  London,  who  had  been  a  passanger  on  the 
ship.  Pelly  began  to  ask  too  many  questions,  and  Birch- 
all  said  he  was  tired  and  went  to  bed.  The  next  day 
they  went  to  Niagara  Falls,  taking  their  luggage  with 
them.  They  crossed  to  the  Canada  side  and  stopped  at 
Mrs.  Baldwin's,  Birchall  arranging  for  rooms  and  board 
there. 

" '  Soon  after  our  arrival,'  said  Pelly  to  me,  '  Birchall 
invited  me  to  go  for  a  walk.  I  went.  We  walked  along 
the  river  road  which  goes  from  the  village  up  to  the 
Falls.  I  had  told  him  about  ten  minutes  before  that  he 
was  failing  to  fulfil  the  representations  he  had  made  to 
me.  He  had  replied  with  a  shuffling  explanation,  and  I 
mentally  decided  to  give  him  another  week,  and  if  mat- 
ters did  not  change  I  would  leave  him.  On  our  walk  we 
came  to  a  place  where  Birchall  said  a  religious  body  in 
past  years  had  held  camp-meetings,  and  it  was  thought 
it  would  be  nice  to  bathe  in  the  river,  so  a  stairway  was 
built  down  over  the  cliffs  with  the  idea  that  they  could 
go  down  it  to  bathe,  but  it  had  been  found  impossible  to 
bathe  there  because  the  current  was  too  strong.  Birchall 
said  to  me  :  "  Oh,  you  have  never  been  down  here  ;  you 
ought  to  go.  It  is  the  best  way  to  see  the  Falls."  I 
told  him  I  should  like  to  go  down,  and  he  stepped  aside 
for  me.  I  went  down  first  and  soon  noticed  it  was  a 
rotten,  unsafe  stairway.  It  led  down  close  by  the  Falls. 
"  Birchall,"  said  I,  "  this  is  a  horrid  place."  He  was  fol- 
lowing and  said  :  "  Go  on  ;  it  will  pay  you."  I  won- 
dered afterwards  that  I  did  not  slip  or  miss  my  footing. 
We  landed  at  the  bottom  finally.  To  my  great  surprise, 
there  stood  a  man  gazing  into  the  swirling  water.  This 
man  turned  and  looked  at  me.  I  sprang  past  Birchall 
and  started  back  up  the  stairs.  The  man  turned  and  re- 
sumed his  gazing  into  the  water.  Birchall  seemed  non- 
plussed when  we  came  upon  this  stranger  in  this  lonely, 
secluded  spot,  with  the  roaring  waters  ready  to  sweep  a 
dead  body  away.  Birchall  followed  me  up  the  stairway, 
and  all  that  day  he  was  moody  and  silent. 

"  *  He  invited  me  for  another  walk  the  next  day,'  con- 


REGINALD  BIRCHALL,  MURDERER      315 

tinued  Pelly.  '  He  led  the  way  down  to  the  cliffs  close  to 
the  cantilever  bridge.  Underneath  this  bridge  you  can- 
not be  seen.  You  get  in  between  the  brickwork  of  the 
span  and  the  edge.  Birchall  took  me  in  there  so  as  to  get 
a  better  view  of  the  rapids.  He  tried  to  persuade  me  to 
stand  close  by  him  at  the  edge,  but  his  manner  seemed 
so  coldly  quiet,  so  repellent,  that  instinctively  I  drew  back 
and  made  my  excuses  for  not  going  near  the  edge  and 
went  away.  This  was  the  second  time.  A  little  push  and 
all  would  have  been  over.  We  returned  to  our  rooms. 
I  saw  in  the  papers  about  a  murder  near  Woodstock. 
On  the  next  morning  Birchall  proposed  I  should  go  to 
Woodstock  and  look  at  the  body  and  see  if  it  was  Ben- 
well.  That  alarmed  me,  and  I  got  a  revolver  and  put  it 
in  my  pocket.  Birchall  and  I  went  to  the  station,  but  the 
train  had  gone.  I  wanted  to  telegraph  to  New  York, 
thinking  Benwell  might  be  there.  Birchall  refused  to  do 
this,  and  persuaded  me  to  go  over  to  the  American  side 
to  see  about  some  supposed  matter  of  baggage.  It  began 
to  rain  while  we  were  there,  and  he  wanted  to  stay  on  the 
American  side,  but  I  said  that  was  absurd,  because  his 
wife  was  at  the  Baldwin's  boarding-house  and  would  ex- 
pect us  back.  We  started  to  walk  back  to  Canada  across 
the  lower  suspension  bridge.  It  was  storming  and  blow- 
ing. When  out  near  the  centre  of  the  bridge,  Birchall 
walked  over  by  the  edge  and  looked  down  at  the  roaring 
rapids.  "  Come,  see  the  view  ;  it  is  superb,"  said  Birchall, 
beckoning  me  close  to  the  edge.  I  drew  back.  He  grew 
white  and  walked  on.  I  lagged  behind,  out  of  his  reach. 
"  Come,  walk  with  me,"  he  said,  halting.  "  Your  great 
coat  will  help  keep  off  the  rain."  I  shook  my  head.  He 
repeated  his  invitation.  I  declined.  He  stopped,  turned 
squarely  and  looked  back.  Then  he  advanced  a  step 
towards  me.  I  stepped  back  and  was  about  to  run  over 
the  bridge  when  two  men  came  walking  across  and 
Birchall  turned  and  walked  on  to  Canada.  I  see  these 
things  in  a  clearer  light  now  that  I  know  Ben  well's  fate. 

"  '  The  next  day,'  continued  Pelly,  '  Birchall  went  to 
Buffalo  to  see  about  some  message  he  said  was  from  Ben- 
well.     When  he  returned  he  said  Benwell  had  sent  a 


3i6     MEMOIRS  OF  A  GREAT  DETECTIVE 

message  to  forward  all  his  heavy  luggage  to  the  Fifth 
Avenue  Hotel  in  New  York.  The  next  day  I  saw  the 
awful  picture  of  the  dead  man  in  the  paper.  I  took  it  to 
Birchall.  "  That  looks  like  Benwell,"  I  said.  Birchall 
said  it  was  impossible,  as  Benwell  was  to  be  in  New  York. 
I  told  him  he  should  go  and  see  the  body,  and  I  would 
go  to  New  York  to  see  if  Benwell  was  at  the  Fifth 
Avenue  Hotel.  I  saw  him  leave  for  Paris  with  Mrs. 
Birchall  to  see  the  body.  Then  I  went  to  New  York 
on  the  next  train.  I  could  find  no  trace  of  Benwell,  so  I 
returned.  Birchall  and  his  wife  had  been  to  view  the 
body  and  it  was  Benwell,  and  the  arrest  followed/ 

"  Pelly  was  telling  the  truth  from  first  to  last,"  says 
Murray.  "  In  going  through  Birchall's  effects  I  found 
this  note,  written  in  a  big,  boyish  hand : — 


'  20,  porchester  gardens, 

'  Bayswater, 

1  London,  W. 
*  December  jd,  i8gg. 
'  Dear  Sir — 

'  My  father  thinks  I  had  better  see  you  as  soon  as 
possible.  I  will  be  at  my  club,  "  The  National  Con- 
servative," Pall  Mall,  at  the  corner  of  Waterloo  Place  and 
opposite  the  "  Athenaeum  "  at  three  o'clock  on  Thursday 
afternoon,  and  will  wait  there  till  five  o'clock  ;  or  if  you 
prefer  it  I  will  go  down  to  Norwood  or  any  place  in 
London  you  like  to  name,  soon,  if  you  will  drop  me 
a  line.  '  I  am,  dear  sir, 

'  Yours  faithfully, 

'  F.  C.  Benwell. 
'  J.  R.  Burchell,  Esq.' 

"  I  found  other  letters  from  Benwell  to  Birchall,  and  in 
Benwell's  luggage  I  found  letters  from  Birchall  to  Ben- 
well.    Here  is  one : 


REGINALD  BIRCHALL,  MURDERER      317 

'  Primrose  Club,  4,  Park  Place,  St.  James'  ; 

'  Bainbridge,  Maberley  Road, 

♦  Upper  Norwood,  S.E., 

February  2d>  1890. 
'  My  Dear  Benwell — 

*  We  sail  Wednesday  next,  February  5th,  in  the  White 
Star  S.S.  Britannic.  I  have  got  you  a  ten-guinea  berth 
for  the  eight  pounds  and  ten  shillings  you  sent  me.  So 
that  is  pretty  good,  I  think.  The  ship  sails  in  the  after- 
noon early.  I  am  going  up  first  thing  in  the  morning  to 
ascertain  the  exact  time  of  sailing.  If  the  ship  doesn't 
sail  till  after  three,  we  shan't  go  down  overnight,  as  there 
will  be  lots  of  time  in  the  morning,  if  we  leave  here  by 
an  early  train.  Your  heavy  baggage  must  be  taken  on 
board  by  the  tender  on  Wednesday,  or  shipped  in  the 
dock  on  Tuesday.  However,  I  fancy  it  will  be  best  to 
have  it  consigned  to  the  care  of  the  White  Star  Com- 
pany, per  S.S.  Britannic.  I  will  wire  you  in  the  morn- 
ing, how  to  act.  Of  course,  if  we  haven't  time  we  must 
leave  on  Tuesday  night.  This  you  shall  hear  further  of. 
Your  labels  shall  be  posted  to-morrow  morning. 

'  I  fancy  the  storms  are  gone  over  now  and  we  shall 
have  a  good  voyage.  You  will  be  able  to  meet  us  on  the 
voyage.     Of  this  I  will  inform  you  to-morrow. 

'  Kind  regards  to  Colonel  Benwell  and  yourself. 

'  Yours  very  sincerely, 

'  J.  R.  BURCHELL.' 

"The  letters  showed  conclusively  that  Benwell,  like 
Pelly,  had  been  caught  by  Birchall's  advertisement,  and 
that  he  had  arranged  with  each  without  notifying  the 
other.  Benwell  and  Birchall  had  met  and  talked  over  the 
farm  business.  Young  Benwell  talked  to  his  father,  who 
had  travelled  considerably  and  he  advised  his  boy  to  go 
and  see  the  farm  and  then  draw  on  him  for  what  he  re- 
quired. Birchall  had  taken  Benwell  with  him  to  this 
side,  Benwell  paying  the  passage  money  to  Birchall  and 
having  an  ample  amount  of  money  with  him  for  expenses 
and  the  authority  to  draw  on  his  father. 

"  I  cabled  and  wrote  at  once  to  Scotland  Yard  for 


318     MEMOIRS  OF  A  GREAT  DETECTIVE 

information  about  Birchall  and  his  reference,  David 
Stevenson,  as  well  as  Pelly  and  Benwell.  I  also  adver- 
tised all  over  this  continent  for  the  stranger  who  stood  at 
the  foot  of  the  old  stairway  by  the  Falls  when  Pelly  and 
Birchall  descended  to  the  water's  edge.  The  stranger 
never  answered  the  advertisement.  He  may  not  have 
seen  it  or  he  may  have  seen  it  and  desired  to  avoid 
notoriety.  I  doubt  if  he  were  an  accomplice  or  acquaint- 
ance of  Birchall.  He  probably  was  a  sightseer  enjoying 
the  view. 

"  The  replies  from  my  friends  in  England  informed  me 
that  J.  R.  Birchall  was  none  other  than  the  younger  son 
of  the  Rev.  Joseph  Birchall,  late  well-known  Vicar  of 
Church  Kirk  and  Rural  Dean  of  Whalley.  The  Birchalls 
had  a  sort  of  hereditary  connection  with  Brasenose 
College,  Oxford,  where  the  father  held  a  foundation 
scholarship  or  fellowship.  Wherever  the  young  Birchall 
had  lived  he  achieved  notoriety.  In  his  younger  days 
he  was  at  Rossall  School  for  some  time  when  the  Rev. 
H.  James,  late  Dean  of  St.  Asaph  and  then  head  of 
Cheltenham  College,  was  head  master.  He  left  there 
suddenly  and  entered  the  Reading  School,  boarding  with 
the  Rev.  Mr.  Walker,  head  master.  He  earned  a  reputa- 
tion in  these  schools  that  preceded  him  to  Oxford  where 
he  went  in  the  autumn  of  1885.  His  name  vanished 
from  Oxford's  calendar  in  the  spring  of  18S8.  His  col- 
lege was  Lincoln,  and  the  dons  remembered  him  with 
sad  head-shakes.  He  was  a  rake  and  a  wild  one.  He 
was  an  organiser  of  carousals,  in  and  out  of  college,  day 
and  night.  He  had  plenty  of  money,  and  kept  a  num- 
ber of  horses  at  college.  No  one  was  cleverer  than  he 
at  evading  punishment  for  his  pranks.  Often  merciless 
in  his  pursuits  of  mischief,  he  would  do  his  fellows  a  turn 
with  good  grace.  He  was  hail-fellow-well-met  with  a 
number  of  men,  who  knew  little  of  him  except  that  he 
was  full  of  humour  and  fun  and  had  singular  conversa- 
tional gifts.  His  notoriety  was  due  in  no  small  part  to 
his  loud  style  of  dress.  He  wore  gaudy  waist-coats,  and 
his  costume  rarely  lacked  some  adornment  of  flaming 
hue.     He  established  at  Oxford  a  club  called  The  Black 


REGINALD  BIRCHALL,  MURDERER      319 

and  Tan.  It  attained  such  a  reputation  for  noisiness  and 
boisterousness  that  it  became  extinct.  At  Oxford,  Birch- 
all  showed,  in  his  class  work,  great  powers  of  mind,  with 
an  exceptional  memory.  He  was  being  educated  for  the 
Church.  His  father's  church  at  that  time  was  in  Lan- 
cashire, and  his  brother  had  a  church  near  Lechlade. 
His  father  died  while  he  was  at  Oxford,  and  the  property 
was  divided  between  the  two  sons  and  a  daughter. 
Reginald's  share  was  over  $20,000,  but  by  the  provisions 
of  the  will  he  was  not  to  come  into  possession  of  it  until 
May,  1 891.  In  June,  1889,  he  had  been  notified  by 
Clement,  Cheese,  and  Green,  solicitors,  of  London,  that 
his  creditors  proposed  to  throw  him  into  bankruptcy. 
He  replied  that  he  had  sold  his  interest  in  his  father's 
estate  for  $15,000  to  pay  other  creditors. 

"  After  leaving  Oxford  he  went  to  London.  There  he 
eloped  with  Florence  Stevenson,  daughter  of  David 
Stevenson,  for  fifty  years  master  of  transportation  of  the 
London  and  North-Western  Railroad.  This  explained 
the  reference  to  Mr.  Stevenson  when  Birchall  exchanged 
references  with  Pelly.  Birchall's  father-in-law  knew 
nothing  of  the  use  of  his  name.  He  was  a  respectable, 
honest  man,  seventy-six  years  old.  In  his  daughter's 
effects  were  found  some  pathetic  letters  from  the  old  man 
to  his  son-in-law.  On  November  25th,  1888,  when  he 
heard  of  the  marriage,  he  wrote  saying  :  '  Let  me  at  once 
recognise  your  perfect  right  to  get  married  in  the  form 
you  preferred ;  but  we  were  a  little  grieved  that  we  did 
not  see  our  daughter  take  the  most  important  step  of  her 
life.'  Other  letters  were  marked  with  tender  solicitude. 
Birchall  had  dabbled  in  theatricals  before  his  marriage 
and  was  well  known  to  many  stage-folk  in  London.  His 
favourite  club  at  this  time  was  the  Badminton  Club,  100, 
Piccadilly,  W.  When  he  made  ready  to  leave  England 
after  his  marriage,  he  cashed  cheques  for  £2$,  or  $125, 
at  the  Badminton  Club,  and  C.  Stewart  Sproat,  secretary 
of  the  club,  wrote  him  on  January  7th,  1890,  when  he 
was  back  in  England,  to  send  the  cash  without  further 
delay.  He  and  his  bride  sailed  for  America  in  the  fall 
of   1888,  after   their  marriage.     They  wrote   to   David 


320     MEMOIRS  OF  A  GREAT  DETECTIVE 

Stevenson  from  America,  and  early  in  1889  Birchall 
wrote  from  Woodstock,  Ontario,  to  creditors  at  Oxford, 
saying  he  was  in  the  employ  of  Somerset  &  Co.,  Brock 
Street,  Woodstock,  and  had  a  lucrative  position  and 
would  pay  his  debts  promptly.  While  he  was  in  Wood- 
stock, solicitors  in  England  were  advertising  in  the  news- 
papers for  his  whereabouts.  His  father-in-law  called  on 
the  solicitors  and  asked  what  such  scandalous  advertise- 
ments meant.  When  he  was  informed  of  his  son-in-law's 
conduct  the  old  man  wept  bitterly.  In  the  summer  of 
1889  Birchall  and  his  wife  returned  to  England  and  lived 
with  Mr.  Stevenson.  Then  it  was  that  Birchall  began 
advertising,  under  the  name  of  J.  R.  Burchett  or  Bur- 
chell,  address  the  Primrose  Club,  for  young  men  with 
money  to  go  to  Canada  and  learn  farming. 

"  My  information  from  England  proved  Pelly  and 
Benwell  to  be  just  what  Pelly  had  said,  two  victims  of 
Birchall.  Pelly's  father  was  vicar  of  Saffron  Walden, 
Essex,  and  Benwell's  father  was  Colonel  Benwell,  of 
Cheltenham.  The  parents  of  both  confirmed  the  stories 
told  by  the  letters  I  found  in  the  luggage. 

"  At  Woodstock  I  learned  that  Birchall  and  his  wife 
had  arrived  there  from  England  in  the  autumn  of  1888 
to  look  over  farm  lands  and  enjoy  the  country  life  of 
Canada.  His  name  was  not  Birchall  then.  He  was 
Lord  Somerset,  Frederick  A.  Somerset,  some  day  to  be 
one  of  the  lofty  lords  of  England.  His  wife  was  Lady 
Somerset.  They  boarded  at  Mrs.  John  McKay's  in 
Woodstock,  lived  gaily,  dressed  loudly,  and  became 
familiar  figures  in  the  country  round  about.  They 
seemed  to  have  money  like  the  lord  and  lady  they  were 
supposed  to  be.  They  were  fond  of  driving  and  picnics, 
and  one  of  the  spots  Lord  Somerset  visited  on  various 
occasions  was  Pine  Pond,  with  the  Blenheim  Swamp 
around  it.  This  was  eight  miles  from  Woodstock  and 
Lord  Somerset  came  to  know  it  well.  When  they  left 
Woodstock  to  return  to  England,  Lord  and  Lady  Somer- 
set were  called  away  suddenly  and  left  numerous  unpaid 
bills  behind  them.  Lord  Somerset,  from  across  the  sea, 
wrote  to  a  Woodstock  acquaintance  as  follows ; 


REGINALD  BIRCHALL,  MURDERER      321 

1  Midland  Grand  Hotel, 

'  London,  England. 
*  My  dear  Mac, 

1  You  must  have  been  surprised  to  find  me  gone. 
I  went  down  to  New  York  for  the  wife's  health  and 
while  there  got  a  cable  the  governor  was  suddenly  taken 
ill.  I  rushed  off,  caught  the  first  steamer  over,  and 
got  here  just  too  late,  the  poor  chap  died.  So  I  have 
been  anyhow  for  some  time.  I  am  coming  out  to  Wood- 
stock shortly,  I  hope,  as  soon  as  I  settle  up  all  my 
governor's  affairs.  I  owe  you  something  I  know. 
Please  let  me  know,  and  tell  Scott,  the  grocer,  to  make 
out  his  bill,  and  any  one  else  if  I  owe  anybody  anything. 
I  was  in  too  much  of  a  hurry  to  see  after  them.  I  have 
several  men  to  send  out  to  you  in  August.  Tell  me  all 
news  and  how  you  are.  Many  thanks  for  all  your  kind- 
nesses. Let  me  know  what  I  owe  you  and  I  will  send  a 
cheque. 

'  Thine  ever, 

'  Fredk.  A.  Somerset.' 

"  Lord  Somerset  did  not  return  to  Woodstock 
promptly.  The  next  time  he  sailed  for  America  was 
under  his  right  name  with  Lady  Somerset  under  her 
proper  name,  Mr.  and  Mrs.  Reginald  Birchall,  and  they 
had  with  them  the  two  young  men,  Pelly  and  Benwell, 
and  the  four  arrived  in  New  York  on  the  Britannic,  on 
February  14th,  and  the  first  person  they  saw  in  New 
York,  by  the  merest  accident,  was  the  farmer  Pickthall  of 
Woodstock  on  his  way  to  meet  the  green  goods  men. 
He  recognised  Lord  and  Lady  Somerset  and  went  his 
way  to  be  fleeced  by  others.  I  verified  at  the  Metropol- 
itan Hotel  the  date  of  their  arrival  and  departure.  I  ver- 
ified at  the  Stafford  House  in  Buffalo  the  fact  of  the  ar- 
rival of  the  party  of  four  on  February  16th.  I  verified 
also  at  the  Stafford  House  the  fact  that,  the  next  day 
Pelly  and  Mrs.  Birchall  stayed  at  the  hotel,  while  Birchall 
and  Benwell  were  called  before  six  o'clock  and  went 
away.  Birchall  returned  in  the  evening.  Benwell  never 
returned. 


322     MEMOIRS  OF  A  GREAT  DETECTIVE 

"  I  took  up  the  trail  of  Birchall  and  Benwell  when  they 
walked  out  of  the  Stafford  House  about  six  o'clock  on 
the  morning  of  February  17th.  I  saw  Conductor  William 
H.  Poole,  who  had  the  run  on  the  Grand  Trunk  Railroad 
between  Niagara  Falls  and  Windsor.  He  had  two  pas- 
sengers who  got  off  at  Eastwood,  a  station  four  miles  from 
Blenheim  Swamp.  Their  description  answered  that  of 
Birchall  and  Benwell.  The  train  stopped  at  Eastwood  at 
11.14  tnat  morning.  Matthew  Virtue,  a  bailiff  of  Wood- 
stock, was  on  the  train.  As  the  train  left  Eastwood  he 
saw  two  young  Englishmen  walking  away  from  the  sta- 
tion, one  of  them  wearing  a  cape  coat.  Miss  Lockhart, 
of  Blandford,  was  on  the  train.  A  couple  of  seats  ahead 
of  her  in  the  car  sat  two  young  Englishmen.  As  the 
train  approached  Eastwood  her  attention  was  drawn  to 
them  by  the  manner  in  which  they  were  talking  about 
the  land.  They  were  admiring  fields  which  were  in  no 
way  to  be  admired.  One  wore  a  big  astrakhan  cap.  It 
was  easy  to  identify  him  by  it.  She  noticed  the  man  in 
the  cap  was  very  quiet  and  twitched  in  his  seat,  yet 
always  was  attentive  to  his  fellow  traveller,  the  younger 
man.  She  saw  them  alight  at  Eastwood  and  start  off 
briskly  to  the  north,  the  man  with  the  fur  cap  in  the  lead. 
I  found  others  who  saw  the  pair  on  the  train.  Alfred 
Hayward  and  his  wife  saw  them  leave  Eastwood  station. 
John  Crosby,  a  young  farmer,  living  in  Blenheim  town- 
ship, was  driving  in  Governor's  Road  about  noon  when 
he  saw  the  two  young  men  walking  towards  Blenheim 
Swamp.  Miss  Allie  Fallon,  who  lived  with  her  mother 
a  short  distance  from  Blenheim  Swamp,  saw  two  young 
men  pass  the  house  on  the  road  leading  past  the  swamp. 
There  was  a  ball  at  Princeton  that  night  and  she  re- 
marked :  '  There  go  two  dudes  to  the  Princeton  ball.' 
One,  in  a  cape  mackintosh,  walked  ahead.  The  other 
was  walking  behind.  She  had  come  to  know  Lord  Som- 
erset by  sight  the  year  before  and  she  thought  the  man 
walking  behind  was  Somerset.  They  were  walking  in 
the  direction  of  the  swamp.  James  Rapson,  owner  of  a 
swamp  adjoining  Blenheim  Swamp,  was  out  with  his  men 
cutting  timber  about  one  o'clock  in  the  afternoon,  when 


REGINALD  BIRCHALL,  MURDERER      323 

he  heard  two  pistol  shots  in  quick  succession  in  Blenheim 
Swamp.  He  was  a  little  less  than  a  mile  away  but  heard 
the  shots  distinctly. 

"  Thus  I  traced  them,  step  by  step,  to  the  swamp  and 
to  the  very  hour  of  the  murder.  Then  comes  an  interval 
when  the  murderer  is  alone  in  the  swamp  with  his  victim. 
The  shots  are  fired  about  one  o'clock,  within  about  half- 
an-hour  after  Miss  Fallon  saw  the  two  men  going  to  the 
swamp.  Birchall  evidently  had  been  pointing  out  land 
from  the  car  window,  as  part  of  his  farm,  and  had  told 
Benwell  they  would  take  a  short  cut  through  the  thick 
woods  and  surprise  the  men  at  the  farmhouse.  Benwell 
was  a  credulous  young  fellow  and  innocently  entered  the 
swamp  and  started  up  the  abandoned  winding  trail, 
Birchall  readily  finding  a  pretext  for  dropping  behind  a 
moment  and  Benwell  eagerly  pressing  on  for  a  sight  of 
the  farm — the  farm  he  never  was  to  see. 

"An  hour  passes.  At  half-past  two  Charles  Buck,  a 
young  farmer  living  on  the  road  between  Eastwood  and 
Blenheim  Swamp,  about  half  a  mile  from  the  swamp,  was 
driving  home  from  Woodstock,  when,  at  the  crossroads 
leading  to  Eastwood,  a  man  turned  the  corner  from  the 
Blenheim  Swamp  road  and  started  for  Eastwood.  The 
man  wore  a  fur  cap,  and  he  stopped  and  asked  Mr.  Buck 
the  way  to  Gobies  Corners,  as  he  wished  to  get  to  Wood- 
stock. Buck  told  him  he  was  within  much  less  than  two 
miles  of  Eastwood  and  he  could  get  to  Woodstock  from 
there  as  easy  as  from  Gobies  Corners.  The  man  thanked 
him  and  walked  on  towards  Eastwood  at  a  rapid  pace. 
At  three  o'clock  Miss  Alice  Smith  arrived  at  the  East- 
wood station  to  post  a  letter.  As  she  was  going  into 
the  station  gate  she  came  face  to  face  with  Lord  Somer- 
set, who  had  been  in  Woodstock  the  year  before  and 
who  had  called  at  her  grandfather's,  John  Hayward's, 
home  at  Eastwood.  Somerset  wore  an  astrakhan  cap. 
He  came  up  to  Miss  Smith  and  shook  hands  pleasantly, 
saying  :  '  How  do  you  do  ?  Don't  you  remember  me  ? ' 
and  asked  after  her  family  and  the  '  old  governor,'  mean- 
ing her  grandfather.  He  told  Miss  Smith  he  was  coming 
back  later  and  then  bought  a  ticket  for  Hamilton.     Miss 


324     MEMOIRS  OF  A  GREAT  DETECTIVE 

Mary  Swazie,  another  young  lady  of  Eastwood,  also  was 
at  the  station  for  the  three  o'clock  train.  She  saw  the 
stranger.  His  trousers  were  turned  up  and  his  shoes 
were  muddy.  Miss  Ida  Cromwell,  of  Eastwood,  also  saw 
him  at  the  station.  James  Hayward,  an  Eastwood  store- 
keeper, saw  him  at  the  station  and  recognised  him  as  the 
so-called  Lord  Somerset. 

"  At  3.38  the  train  for  Niagara  Falls  arrived  at  East- 
wood. The  stranger  in  the  fur  cap  boarded  the  train. 
George  Hay,  a  train  brakesman,  saw  him  and  remem- 
bered him  distinctly,  and  identified  Birchall  positively  as 
the  man.  Other  witnesses  also  identified  Birchall,  and  I 
established  a  perfect  chain  of  evidence  showing  his 
whereabouts  from  the  time  he  left  London  and  from  the 
time  he  left  the  Stafford  House  on  the  morning  of  the 
murder  until  his  return  there  at  8.30  that  night.  Wit- 
nesses identified  the  dead  body  of  Benwell  as  that  of  the 
young  man  with  Birchall  on  the  train  to  Eastwood  and 
on  the  road  to  the  swamp.  I  traced  them  together  to  the 
swamp,  where  Benwell  was  found  dead  the  next  day,  and 
I  traced  Birchall  away  from  the  swamp  and  back  to  Buf- 
falo, after  the  pistol  shots  had  been  fired.  He  had  four 
hours  and  twenty-four  minutes  in  which  to  walk  the  four 
miles  from  Eastwood  to  the  swamp,  do  the  murder,  and 
walk  back  to  Eastwood.  He  arrived  at  n.  14  in  the 
morning  and  departed  at  £.38  in  the  afternoon.  If  he 
took  three  hours  to  walk  the  eight  miles,  he  still  had  one 
hour  and  twenty-four  minutes  for  the  crime. 

"  To  clinch  Birchall's  guilt,  I  heard  from  London  at 
this  time  that  Colonel  Benwell  had  just  received  from 
Birchall  an  undated  letter,  headed  with  the  address  of 
Niagara  Falls.  The  postmark  revealed  its  date  was 
February  20th,  three  days  after  Birchall  left  Benwell 
dead  in  the  swamp.  In  this  letter  Birchall  asked  that 
the  agreement  be  set  aside,  and  that  $500  be  sent  him 
at  once.  '  I  have  been  talking  to  your  son  to-day  about 
arrangements,  and  he  is  so  well  satisfied  with  the  pros- 
pects here  that  he  is  ready  to  go  immediately  into  part- 
nership, and  he  is  writing  to  you  to-day  on  the  subject,' 
wrote  Birchall.    This  was  three  days  after  he  left  Benwell 


REGINALD  BIRCHALL,  MURDERER      325 

dead  in  Blenheim  Swamp.  The  $500  was  to  be  the  first 
payment  on  $2,500  which  Colonel  Benwell  was  to  send 
to  his  son  for  Birchall  if  the  farm  and  prospects  pleased 
young  Benwell.  Pelly  identified  the  body  found  on  Feb- 
ruary 1 8th  as  Benwell's  body,  and  thus  Birchall  could 
not  have  been  talking  to  him  on  February  20th.  Instead 
of  writing  to  his  father  on  February  20th,  Benwell  lay 
dead  on  a  slab  with  none  to  know  his  name. 

"  I  brought  creditors  of  Lord  Somerset  from  Wood- 
stock to  see  Birchall.  They  identified  Birchall  as  the 
bogus  Lord  Somerset.  One  of  them,  William  MacDon- 
ald,  denounced  Birchall  as  a  dead-beat,  a  swindler,  and  a 
faker.  Birchall  haughtily  declared  that  such  language 
offended  and  insulted  him.  Later  a  lunatic  in  the  gaol 
approached  him  and  said :  '  Tell  me  why  you  killed 
Benwell.'  Birchall  laughed  merrily,  and  was  neither 
offended  nor  insulted.  I  brought  witnesses  who  said 
Birchall  was  the  same  man  who,  as  Lord  Somerset,  had 
made  frequent  visits  to  Blenheim  Swamp  the  year  before, 
and  had  learned  the  path  to  Pine  Pond,  the  lake  in  the 
swamp  that  is  supposed  to  be  bottomless.  I  studied  all 
the  data  I  had  in  hand,  and  worked  out  the  theory  on 
which  I  was  certain  we  could  convict  this  clever  murderer. 

"  Birchall  had  embarked  in  business  as  a  murderer. 
He  had  adopted  life-taking  for  revenue  as  a  profession 
promising  rich  returns.  He  had  become  deliberately  a 
professional  murderer.  For  a  year  he  had  planned  the 
crimes,  and  fitted  himself  for  the  practice  of  his  pro- 
fession. While  masquerading  as  Lord  Somerset  he  had 
selected  the  bottomless  lake,  known  as  Pine  Pond,  for  the 
grave  that  would  tell  no  tales.  The  Blenheim  Swamp  he 
selected  as  the  place  of  slaughter,  his  chamber  of  death. 
He  was  familiar  with  the  emigration  business,  through 
his  father-in-law's  knowledge  of  it.  He  conceived  the 
idea  of  taking  rich  young  men  instead  of  poor  emigrants. 
He  created  an  imaginative  farm,  and  he  went  back  to 
England  to  select  a  victim.  He  made  the  mistake  of 
taking  two  instead  of  one.  Even  then  his  plans  were 
well  laid.  He  would  kill  Benwell  in  the  swamp  and 
shove  Pelly  into  the  rapids  at  the  Falls  to  be  pounded  to 


326     MEMOIRS  OF  A  GREAT  DETECTIVE 

pieces.  Neither  body  would  be  found,  for  he  would  bury 
Benwell  in  the  bottomless  lake  and  Pelly  would  vanish  in 
the  whirlpool.  If  one  of  the  Elridges  had  not  slipped 
in  the  Blenheim  Swamp  all  would  have  been  well.  He 
stepped  on  Benwell's  body,  and  the  crime  was  known. 
Birchall  had  not  intended  to  leave  the  body  where  any 
one  could  step  on  it  or  see  it.  He  was  heading  for  Pine 
Pond  when  he  killed  Benwell,  and  meant  to  drag  the 
body  thither ;  but  since  his  last  visit  to  the  swamp,  a  fire 
and  storm  had  swept  it  and  choked  the  way  to  the  bot- 
tomless lake.  He  was  relying  on  water  to  hide  both  his 
victims.  Neither  body  was  to  be  found.  The  two  young 
men  were  to  vanish  from  the  face  of  the  earth.  The 
professional  murderer  would  have  collected,  by  bogus 
letters  to  fond  parents,  the  sum  still  due  from  the  vic- 
tims, and  would  have  gone  back  to  England  for  more 
victims. 

"  He  had  no  grudge  against  either  Benwell  or  Pelly. 
They  never  had  wronged  him.  No  flame  of  fury  leaped 
up  within  him  inciting  him  to  crush  out  their  lives.  It 
was  purely  and  simply  a  matter  of  business.  The  life  of 
each  young  man  represented  so  much  ready  money,  and 
Birchall  was  a  murderer  for  the  money  there  was  in  it. 
He  went  about  it  in  a  practical,  quiet,  methodical  way. 
Eventually  he  might  become  rich.  No  bodies  could  be 
found,  and  lost  dead  men  are  as  good  as  live  men  whom 
no  one  can  find,  he  reasoned.  As  he  increased  his 
capital,  he  might  buy  a  farm  with  a  bottomless  lake  and 
a  dismal  swamp,  and  kill  his  victims  without  trespassing 
on  other  people's  property.  He  could  vary  his  name 
and  address  and  keep  the  families  of  his  victims  far  apart, 
and  thus  minimise  the  risk  of  detection  while  the  bottom- 
less lake  swallowed  the  victims  one  by  one  and  kept  their 
bones  icy  cold  through  endless  years. 

"  Fate  was  against  the  murderer  for  revenue  only.  Fire 
and  storm  had  blocked  his  way  in  the  marsh.  Provi- 
dence guided  a  woodman's  step  to  the  very  spot  where 
the  body  otherwise  would  have  lain  undiscovered,  and 
crumbled  away.  Fate  placed  the  stranger  at  the  foot  of 
the  rotten  stairway  at  the  Falls  where  Pelly  was  to  die. 


REGINALD  BIRCHALL,  MURDERER      327 

Fate  put  the  two  strange  men  on  the  lower  suspension 
bridge  the  night  Pelly  was  to  be  hurled  into  the  rapids. 
Pelly  lived,  and  he  compelled  Birchall  to  go  to  Princeton 
and  view  the  body.  It  may  be  that  Birchall  believed  he 
would  brave  it  through,  and  still  kill  Pelly  at  the  Falls, 
and  then  throw  the  crime  of  Benwell's  death  on  the  miss- 
ing Pelly.  But  it  all  failed.  The  hand  of  Fate  reached 
out  of  the  world  of  chance,  and  destroyed  the  whole  fabric 
this  professional  murderer  had  constructed  so  carefully. 
He  planned  well,  but  Providence  swept  his  plans  aside. 

"  The  case  had  all  the  elements  to  make  it  a  famous 
crime.  It  involved  immigration,  in  which  both  England 
and  Canada  were  interested  vitally.  The  high  connec- 
tions of  young  Pelly,  the  refined  associations  of  young 
Benwell,  the  notoriety  of  Birchall  and  his  previously  pic- 
turesque career,  combined  to  give  it  prominence.  Some 
folks  declared  the  murder  of  Benwell  was  but  a  part  of  a 
plot  of  wholesale  killing  of  rich  young  men  of  England 
by  an  organised  band  of  red-handed  villains,  who  enticed 
their  victims  to  Canada.  This  I  never  have  believed. 
Birchall  had  no  male  confederates,  and  he  acted  single- 
handed.  I  looked  up  his  life  thoroughly,  year  by  year. 
John  Emery,  a  London  actor,  wrote  to  me  of  Birchall's 
theatrical  career.  He  was  treasurer  of  one  company, 
and  appropriated  some  of  its  funds  to  his  own  use.  Later 
he  was  assistant  manager  of  a  company  playing  A  Child 
of  the  West  in  the  provinces  in  England.  Emery  was  in 
the  company,  and  when  a  difference  arose  over  failure  to 
pay  salaries,  Birchall  and  the  manager  called  Emery  into 
a  room  and  drew  a  pistol,  and  advised  him  to  cease  being 
dissatisfied.  Other  episodes  showed  Birchall  a  desperate 
man  if  occasion  demanded.  His  crime  at  Blenheim 
Swamp  aroused  Canada.  Great  crowds  attended  the  in- 
quest at  Princeton  on  March  8th.  Pelly  testified  against 
Birchall.  Mrs.  Birchall  was  discharged.  Public  sym- 
pathy had  been  awakened  for  her.  Birchall  was  com- 
mitted for  trial.  Mrs.  Birchall's  father,  David  Stevenson, 
cabled  $500  to  me  for  his  daughter  the  day  after  she  was 
arrested.  I  gave  it  to  Mrs.  Birchall  and  her  counsel. 
Hellmuth  and  Ivey,  of  London,  Ontario. 


328     MEMOIRS  OF  A  GREAT  DETECTIVE 

"  The  trial  of  Birchall  stands  out  as  one  of  the  great 
criminal  trials  of  Canada.  It  attracted  world-wide  atten- 
tion. On  September  20th  the  grand  jury  returned  a  true 
bill  against  Birchall.  His  trial  began  on  Monday,  Sep- 
tember 22d.  It  was  held  at  Woodstock.  Justice  Mc- 
Mahon  presided.  B.  B.  Osier,  a  truly  brilliant  lawyer, 
prosecuted  for  the  Crown,  assisted  by  J.  R.  Cartwright, 
Deputy  Attorney-General.  George  T.  Blackstock  ably 
defended  Birchall,  making  a  desperate  effort  to  save  his 
life.  Cable  connections  led  direct  from  the  court-house 
to  London,  England.  The  English  newspapers,  as  well  as 
those  of  France,  Germany,  and  Italy,  printed  columns  upon 
columns  of  the  trial,  some  of  the  English  papers  printing 
the  full  testimony,  the  lawyers'  pleas,  and  judge's  charge. 
The  gist  of  the  defence  was  that  in  the  four  hours  and 
twenty-four  minutes  between  his  arrival  at  Eastwood  and 
his  departure  on  the  day  of  the  murder,  Birchall  could  not 
have  walked  four  miles  to  the  Blenheim  Swamp,  shot  a 
man,  and  walked  four  miles  to  the  station.  The  verdict 
was  inevitable — guilty.  The  evidence  simply  was  over- 
whelming. Birchall  was  sentenced  to  be  hanged  on 
November  14th. 

"  During  his  imprisonment  in  Woodstock  gaol,  Birch- 
all was  the  recipient  of  much  attention  from  some  peo- 
ple. There  were  people  in  Woodstock  who  bared  their 
flower  gardens  to  send  him  nosegays  every  day.  Silly 
girls  wrote  silly  letters  to  him.  He  sent  me  word  on 
various  occasions  that  he  wished  to  see  me.  Indeed  he 
became  quite  offended  if  I  went  to  Woodstock  and  did 
not  call  and  take  him  for  a  walk  in  the  gaol  yard. 

"  '  I  found  you  always  a  gentleman,'  were  his  last  words 
to  me  ;  <  and  you  did  your  duty,  and  I  have  no  hard  feel- 
ings against  you.' 

"  During  his  last  months  of  life  he  wrote  an  autobiog- 
raphy, in  which  he  omitted  many  salient  facts  of  his 
career,  and  in  which  he  did  not  confess  the  crime. 
However,  I  may  say  that,  while  Birchall  went  to  his 
death  without  a  public  confession,  the  last  possibility  for 
doubt  of  his  guilt  was  swept  away  before  he  was  ex- 
ecuted. 


REGINALD  BIRCHALL,  MURDERER       329 

"  He  was  hanged  on  November  14th — a  cold,  grey 
morning.  He  went  to  his  death  ghastly  white,  but  with- 
out a  tremor.  He  walked  out  in  the  prison  yard  in  his 
own  funeral  procession,  unsupported,  and  mounted  the 
scaffold  with  a  steady  step.  '  Good-bye,  Flo  dear ;  be 
brave,'  was  his  farewell  to  his  wife.  The  D online  cum 
veneris  judicare  noli  nos  condemnare — '  O  Lord,  when 
Thou  shalt  come  to  judge,  do  not  Thou  condemn  me ' — 
was  uttered  by  the  Rev.  W.  H.  Wade,  of  Old  St.  Paul's. 
The  Lord's  Prayer  was  said.  And  then — a  crash,  a 
creak,  and  a  lifeless  body  dangled  where  a  man  had 
stood.  It  swayed  gently  to  and  fro  in  the  chill  November 
wind.  So  ended  the  Birchall  case  as  it  had  begun — with 
a  death. 

"  Pelly  returned  to  England  after  the  trial.  He  had 
desired  to  go  home  after  the  preliminary  hearing,  but  the 
Government  decided  he  should  remain,  and  he  stayed 
with  me  until  after  the  trial.  He  arrived  at  Saffron 
Walden  at  seven  o'clock  in  the  evening  of  October  27th. 
An  English  newspaper,  telling  of  his  home-coming  said : 

" '  The  knowledge  of  the  arrival  had  become  known, 
and  the  result  was  that  a  crowd  of  some  thousands  had 
assembled  in  the  vicinity  of  the  railway  station  in  order 
to  give  a  welcome  to  the  returned  voyager.  The  arrival 
of  the  train  was  signalled  by  a  feu  de  joie.  Mrs.  Pelly, 
with  Miss  Geraldine  and  Miss  Daisy  Pelly,  were  on  the 
platform  when  the  vicar  stepped  out  with  his  son,  and 
the  greetings  between  mother  and  son,  sisters  and 
brother,  were  very  warm.  These  over,  a  move  was 
made  for  the  carriage  in  waiting,  and  as  soon  as  Mr. 
Douglas  Pelly  appeared  on  the  outside  of  the  station  he 
was  received  with  prolonged  and  deafening  cheers.  The 
horses  were  unharnessed,  and  the  car  was  drawn  to 
Walden  Place  by  willing  hands,  preceded  by  the  Ex- 
celsior Band,  playing  "  Rolling  Home  to  Dear  Old  Eng- 
land," and  men  carrying  lighted  torches.  In  addition  to 
the  large  following,  crowds  had  assembled  all  along  the 
line  of  route,  and  as  the  carriages  passed  along,  the  oc- 
cupants were  repeatedly  cheered.  Flags  were  hung 
from  various  private  houses,  and  the  residence  of  Mrs. 


330     MEMOIRS  OF  A  GREAT  DETECTIVE 

Bellingham  was  illuminated  with  coloured  lights.  At 
the  entrance  to  Wjalden  Place  a  triumphal  arch  had  been 
erected,  having  on  the  front  the  words  "  Welcome 
Home." ' 

"  Pelly  was  drawn  home  by  a  rope  in  many  willing 
hands  ;  Birchall  was  drawn  home  by  a  rope  in  hands  he 
did  not  know  and  never  saw." 

LII 

THE  FOOTMARK  BY  LANGFORD'S  BED 

Old  Dick  Langford  was  a  miser,  and  the  pride  of  his 
life  was  a  fine  bay  horse  with  a  white  spot  on  his  nose. 
Old  Dick  was  eighty  years  old  and  the  horse  was  eight. 
They  lived  on  Old  Dick's  farm  in  the  county  of  Carle- 
ton,  six  miles  from  the  town  of  Carp,  ten  miles  from 
Stittsville,  and  thirty  miles  from  Ottawa.  Many  a  time 
the  shrivelled  old  man  and  the  spirited  bay  horse  had 
done  the  distance  to  Ottawa  in  less  than  four  hours.  Old 
Dick's  wife  had  left  him  twenty  years  before  he  got  the 
bay  horse.  She  had  said  Old  Dick  was  a  skinflint  and  a 
torturer,  and  she  would  not  live  in  the  same  county  with 
him.  He  chuckled  and  showed  his  solitary  front  tooth, 
and  transferred  his  farm  so  that  she  could  not  claim  a  part 
of  it.  After  his  wife  was  gone,  Old  Dick  tried  to  regain 
title  to  his  farm,  but  the  man  to  whom  he  had  transferred 
it  disappeared,  so  Old  Dick  bought  the  farm  near  Carp 
and  settled  down  alone,  with  his  bay  horse  with  the  white 
spot  on  his  nose,  and  a  few  farm  horses,  cows,  chickens, 
dogs,  and  four  books. 

"  Old  Dick's  bay  horse  was  stolen  in  1889,"  says 
Murray,  "  and  the  old  man  raised  a  tremendous  hulla- 
baloo. About  three  months  later  the  horse  was  re- 
covered in  Ottawa  and  Old  Dick  was  happy.  In  the  fall 
of  1890  the  horse  was  stolen  again.  Old  Dick  declared 
he  knew  the  thief,  and  the  adjoining  counties  were  pla- 
carded with  the  following : 


THE  FOOTMARK  BY  LANGFORD'S  BED   331 

<  STOP  HORSE  THIEF ! 

'  Stolen  from  Richard  Langford,  Lot  1 3,  Con- 
cession 8,  Township  of  Huntley,  County  Carle- 
ton,  on  Friday  night,  October  3d,  1890,  A 
DARK  BROWN  HORSE;  age  8;  height  16 
to  17  hands  ;  weight  about  14  cwt. ;  black  points, 
except  white  spot  on  nose  and  white  hind  feet. 
May  have  traded  since.     Arrest 

'GEORGE  GOODWIN, 

«  alias  St.  George,  alias  Brennan  ;  height,  about 
5  feet  8  or  9  inches ;  age,  about  24 ;  fair  com- 
plexion, small  sandy  moustache,  sandy  hair, 
slim  build  and  sharp  features  ;  grey  clothes,  and 
wore  a  cap  when  last  seen.  Take  charge  of  any 
horse  he  may  have  and  wire 

«  r.  McGregor, 

'  County  Constable, 

'  Almonte,  Ont' 

"  Old  Dick  spent  his  time  driving  about  with  other 
horses  searching  for  his  bay  horse,  and  declaring  that  the 
thief  would  go  to  prison  this  time.  In  December  Old 
Dick  ceased  driving  about  and  locked  himself  up  in  his 
house  and  devoted  himself  anew  to  his  library  of  four 
books.  The  favourite  was  a  '  History  of  the  Siege  of 
Londonderry  and  Defence  of  Inniskillen.'  The  other 
books  were  '  Meditations  and  Contemplations,'  by  the 
Rev.  James  Hervey ;  '  A  Short  Defence  of  Old  Religion 
against  Certain  Novelties,  Recommended  to  the  People 
of  Ireland '  ;  and  a  big  family  Bible.  Old  Dick  would 
open  the  '  History  of  the  Siege,'  and  lay  it  on  the  table. 
Then  he  would  shout  passages  from  it  at  the  top  of  his 
voice  and  toddle  up  and  down  the  room  in  the  throes  of 
great  excitement  over  the  deeds  of  the  lads  of  London- 
derry. 

"  On  Saturday  afternoon,  December  6th,  1890,  three 
weeks  after  Birchall  was  hanged,  neighbours  passing  to 
and  from  the  town  of  Carp  could  hear  old  Dick,  the 


332     MEMOIRS  OF  A  GREAT  DETECTIVE 

miser,  roaring  away  over  the  '  Siege  of  Londonderry.' 
His  door  was  locked  and  his  windows  were  barred,  but 
his  voice  could  be  heard  while  he  thumped  with  his  cane 
and  trod  the  kitchen  floor,  as  if  leading  a  gallant  charge. 
Robert  Clark,  a  neighbour,  whose  house  was  in  plain 
sight  of  the  home  of  Old  Dick,  saw  a  light  in  the  house 
in  the  early  evening  and  at  nine  o'clock,  when  he  looked 
out,  Old  Dick's  house  was  dark,  the  light  was  out  and  the 
old  miser,  as  was  his  custom,  was  supposed  by  Clark  to 
have  gone  to  bed.  About  half-past  ten  that  night,  as 
Clark  was  locking  up  for  the  night,  he  looked  out  and 
saw  Old  Dick's  house  brightly  lighted,  something  Old 
Dick  never  did,  because  he  deemed  it  extravagance.  It 
was  so  unusual,  that  Clark  was  on  the  verge  of  going 
over  to  see  if  all  was  well  with  the  old  man ;  but  it  was 
snowing  and  blowing,  so  he  concluded  to  wait  until  the 
next  morning.  On  Sunday  Clark  went  over  to  Old 
Dick's.  The  house  was  locked.  It  was  blowing  heavily. 
Clark  beat  on  the  door,  and  when  no  answer  came  he 
went  to  the  barn.  Lying  on  the  floor  of  the  barn  was 
Old  Dick,  sprawled  out  senseless,  his  head  a  mass  of 
frozen  blood.  Clark  shouted  over  to  his  own  house  and 
his  family  came  and  they  bore  the  old  miser  to  his  house, 
forced  in  the  door  and  endeavoured  to  revive  him.  The 
doctors  were  called  and  they  worked  over  Old  Dick,  but 
he  died,  declaiming  a  passage  from  the  '  History  of  the 
Siege  of  Londonderry,'  and  speaking  no  word  as  to  the 
identity  of  his  murderer. 

"  I  arrived  before  the  old  man  breathed  his  last.  His 
head  had  been  beaten  by  a  blunt,  heavy  instrument.  I 
searched  the  barn  and  found  an  iron  pin,  thirty-seven 
inches  long  and  weighing  ten  pounds.  Old  Dick  had 
used  it  as  a  pin  to  fasten  the  barn  door,  but  white  hairs 
and  blood  on  it  showed  the  murderer  had  used  it  as  a 
club  to  beat  Old  Dick's  head  almost  to  a  pulp.  The 
doctors,  who  examined  the  wounds  on  Sunday,  said  that 
Old  Dick  had  been  beaten  on  Saturday,  and  had  lain  all 
night  in  the  barn.  I  searched  the  house.  I  found  the 
*  Siege  of  Londonderry '  open  on  the  table,  as  the  old 
man  had  left  it.     I  found  his  bed  had  been  disturbed  and 


THE  FOOTMARK  BY  LANGFORD'S  BED   333 

that  some  one  had  slept  in  it ;  a  man,  judging  from  the 
footmark,  which  was  not  Old  Dick's.  The  footmark 
showed  no  shoe,  but  seemingly,  a  thick,  wet  sock.  The 
murderer,  whoever  he  was,  called  Old  Dick  out  from  his 
house  to  the  barn  on  Saturday  evening,  either  by  hailing 
him  or  threatening  to  steal  a  horse,  and  as  Old  Dick 
entered  the  barn  the  murderer  smote  him  with  the  iron 
pin  and  left  him  for  dead,  then  quietly  went  to  the  house 
and  lighted  the  light  seen  at  half-past  ten  by  Clark,  who 
had  thought  at  once  that  something  was  wrong,  or  Old 
Dick  would  not  waste  candles  or  oil.  After  warming 
himself  at  the  fire,  the  murderer  calmly  went  to  rest  in 
Old  Dick's  bed,  and  slept  serenely  while  Old  Dick  lay 
dying  in  the  barn  with  his  wounds  freezing.  On  Sunday 
morning  the  murderer  had  gone  his  way  in  the  blinding 
snow-storm  that  covered  his  tracks. 

"  I  began  the  usual  house-to-house  questioning  of 
everybody  in  that  part  of  the  county,  and  at  the  very  out- 
set I  was  reminded  of  Old  Dick's  stolen  horse  and  his 
belief  that  he  knew  the  thief.  At  every  house  I  asked  if 
they  had  seen  George  Goodwin  recently.  Goodwin  was 
known  in  that  locality  as  a  loose  character.  He  chopped 
wood  and  did  odd  jobs  for  farmers.  I  found  a  farmer 
who  had  seen  him  early  on  Saturday  evening  about  a 
mile  from  Old  Dick's.  Goodwin  at  that  time  was  walk- 
ing towards  the  Langford  farm.  I  found  another  farmer 
who  saw  him  still  nearer  Old  Dick's  house.  Later  I 
found  another  who  saw  him  on  Sunday  bound  in  the 
opposite  direction,  away  from  Old  Dick's.  I  got  a  good 
description  of  Goodwin.  He  was  twenty-four  years  old, 
five  feet  eight  inches  tall,  weighed  one  hundred  and  forty- 
five  pounds,  and  had  sandy  hair  and  a  light  sandy  mous- 
tache. He  was  bow-legged,  had  watery  eyes,  was  near- 
sighted, and  a  silent  fellow,  who  seldom  spoke  unless 
spoken  to.  But  what  satisfied  me  was  the  description  of 
his  clothing  given  by  the  farmers  who  saw  him.  He  wore 
a  blue  suit,  a  short,  striped  overcoat,  an  imitation  of  lamb- 
skin cap,  and  beef-skin  moccasins.  The  moccasins  settled 
it.  They  accounted  for  the  footmark  in  Old  Dick's  bed- 
room as  of  a  thick,  wet,  stained  sock.     I  billed  Goodwin 


334     MEMOIRS  OF  A  GREAT  DETECTIVE 

for  Old  Dick's  murder.  He  was  known  also  as  Brennan, 
St.  George,  Wilkins,  and  used  still  other  names.  He  had 
relatives  living  near  Ottawa,  and  I  expected  him  to  go  to 

tu  ^ore  jumping  to  the  United  States.  He  had  not 
robbed  Old  Dick,  for  I  found  his  money 

"Goodwin  did  precisely  as  I  expected.  He  sent  to  his 
relatives  for  money,  while  he  hid  near  Ottawa.  I  had 
hunted  him  through  December,  1890,  and  January  and 
February,  1891,  and  in  March  I  located  him  near  Ottawa 

Smed  F)T  SG  M°rrhe  uSpring  ASSiZCS-  His  relatives  ^ 
m1       Dalt°n    McCarthy  to  defend  him.     Justice   Mc- 

Mahon  presided,  and  the  trial  was  postponed  until  the  Fall 
Assizes  at  the  request  of  the  defence.  In  the  interval 
Goodwin  got  out  on  bail.  He  skipped  the  country  and 
never  came  back.  It  was  good  riddance  of  bad  rubbish. 
1  wondered  often  whether  the  murderer  enjoyed 
pleasant  dreams  when  he  lay  down  and  slept  in  his 
victim  s  bed.  The  prosecution's  theory  was,  that  Good- 
win had  killed  Old  Dick,  not  for  robbery  necessarily  but 
because  Goodwin  had  stolen  Old  Dick's  horse  and  Old 
Dick  knew  he  did  it,  and  was  waiting  to  locate  him  in 
order  to  have  him  arrested  and  sent  to  prison.  If  our 
theory  as  to  the  murderer  had  been  wrong,  Goodwin 
would  not  have  been  apt  to  run  away. 

"  I  had  good  luck  in  the  Goodwin  case,  as  indeed  I 
have  had  in  almost  all  cases.  But  about  this  same  time  I 
had  a  case  where  luck  seemed  wholly  against  me— in  fact 
1  laid  it  away  as  a  hard  luck  case.  It  was  towards  the 
close  of  1890.  John  Brothers  was  the  man  in  the  case 
He  manufactured  agricultural  implements  in  the  town  of 
Milton,  in  the  county  of  Halton,  about  twenty  miles  west 
of  Toronto.  He  took  farmers'  notes  in  part  payment  for 
implements.  He  became  hard  up,  placed  his  genuine 
notes  in  the  bank  and  added  some  forged  notes  to  them 
In  due  time  the  manager  of  the  bank  told  him  to  take  up 
the  notes.  Brothers  went  to  his  brother-in-law,  Amos 
Darling,  an  honest  farmer  who  had  a  nice  home  earned 
by  hard  work.  He  dumped  the  notes  on  to  Darling  tell- 
ing him  they  were  a  good  thing,  paying  seven  and  eight 
per  cent,  interest.     Darling  went  to  the  bank  and  took  up 


THE  LADY  OF  PIERCING  BLACK  EYES     335 

the  notes,  giving  the  bank  his  own  note  for  $5,000,  or 
almost  the  value  of  his  farm.  Brothers  promptly  disap- 
peared, and  the  bank  induced  Darling  to  exchange  his 
note  for  a  mortgage  on  his  farm,  and  in  the  end  he  lost 
his  farm.     I  billed  Brothers  all  over  the  country. 

"  Through  a  letter  he  wrote  from  San  Francisco,  I  lo- 
cated him  there.  He  was  working  as  a  moulder  in  the 
Risdon  foundry.  I  prepared  extradition  papers  and 
started  for  San  Francisco.  While  I  was  on  my  way  west 
and  before  I  arrived  there,  a  friend  of  Brothers  in  Canada 
notified  him  of  extradition  papers  having  been  issued, 
and  Brothers  disappeared  the  day  before  I  alighted  from 
a  train  in  Frisco.  I  notified  the  police  all  over  the  coun- 
try, and  after  waiting  some  days  and  hearing  nothing,  I 
returned  to  Toronto.  My  train  was  several  hours  late. 
I  learned  that  Brothers  had  been  arrested  by  the  chief  of 
police  at  El  Paso,  Texas,  on  the  Mexican  border.  The 
chief  had  wired  me  to  Toronto  and  the  telegram  had 
been  repeated  to  San  Francisco  and  I  was  on  my  way 
back,  so  it  missed  me.  I  telegraphed  immediately  to  El 
Paso,  and  the  chief  replied  he  had  held  Brothers  as  long 
as  he  could  and  had  been  compelled  to  release  him  a  few 
hours  before  my  telegram  arrived,  and  Brothers  had  just 
left  the  town.  If  my  train  had  not  been  late  I  could 
have  reached  the  chief  in  El  Paso  in  time.  But  luck  was 
against  me  clear  through  in  this  case. 

"  Brothers  crossed  into  Mexico  and  stayed  there.  I 
have  heard  he  is  dead.  I  felt  very  sorry  for  his  brother- 
in-law,  Amos  Darling,  whose  home  paid  the  forgeries  of 
Brothers.  Such  Brothers  as  this  one  are  not  desirable 
even  as  brothers-in-law." 


LIII 

THE  LADY  OF  THE  PIERCING  BLACK  EYES 

The  lady  of  the  piercing  black  eyes  crossed  Murray's 
path  in  1891.  She  was  an  amazon,  and  Murray  avers 
she  was  a  virago  as  well.     Her  maiden  name  was  Nettie 


336     MEMOIRS  OF  A  GREAT  DETECTIVE 

Slack,  and  her  cradle  was  rocked  in  the  county  of  Perth. 
As  a  young  girl  she  was  famed  for  her  jet-black  eyes 
and  raven-black  hair,  the  eyes  as  shiny  as  the  hair  was 
glossy. 

"  She  grew  to  superb  womanhood,"  says  Murray. 
"  She  was  very  tall,  very  muscular,  with  big,  broad 
shoulders  and  swinging  tread,  and  the  mien  of  a  power- 
ful man.  Her  piercing  black  eyes  were  wicked  looking, 
and  there  were  few  men  in  the  county  of  Perth  who  ven- 
tured to  cross  humours  with  Nettie  Slack.  She  was 
rather  a  good-looking  woman.  Her  eyes  enhanced  her 
attractiveness  and  yet  seemed  to  mar  her  beauty.  This 
may  seem  a  paradox,  yet  in  the  case  of  Nettie  Slack  it 
was  perfectly  true.  She  was  one  of  those  big,  sturdy, 
almost  burly,  women  who  remind  you  of  reincarnated 
creatures  of  ancient  times,  as  if  some  of  the  white  statues 
had  turned  to  flesh  and  blood,  with  jet  black  tresses  and 
adornings.  As  I  looked  at  her  the  first  time,  I  thought, 
'  What  a  ploughman  you  would  make  !  What  a  wood- 
man you  would  be  ! ' 

"  She  married.  Her  husband  was  her  cousin,  Thomas 
Blake  Carruthers,  a  quiet,  inoffensive  young  man,  a  pros- 
perous farmer,  who  lived  near  St.  Mary's,  in  the  county 
of  Perth.  Nettie  Slack  was  not  exactly  quiet,  and  in 
other  ways  she  differed  from  her  husband.  They  had 
two  children,  and  Tom  Carruthers  was  a  good  father. 
He  managed  his  stalwart  wife,  too,  and  all  seemed  serene 
on  the  Carruthers'  farm.  One  day  old  Grandpa  Fother- 
ingham,  who  was  rich  and  lived  in  the  township  of 
Blanchard,  county  of  Perth,  died  and  left  a  goodly  sum 
to  his  grandson,  young  Fotheringham,  who  knew  Nettie 
Slack,  and  had  gazed  into  her  piercing  black  eyes. 
Young  Fotheringham  called  on  Nettie  Slack  after  her 
marriage,  and,  of  course,  the  gossips  had  their  busy  buz- 
zings  over  the  woman  with  the  piercing  black  eyes  and 
the  man  with  his  grandfather's  money.  I  could  have 
pictured  Nettie  Slack,  if  she  had  heard  this  gossip,  sally- 
ing forth  with  a  flail  and  belabouring  the  backs  of  all 
the  busybodies.  The  reports  of  alleged  improprieties 
between    Nettie   Slack   and  young  Fotheringham  con- 


THE  LADY  OF  PIERCING  BLACK  EYES     337 

tinued,  and  finally  Tom  Carruthers  was  said  to  have 
twitted  his  wife  about  it,  while  she  flamed  in  fury,  with 
her  jet-black  eyes  ablaze. 

"  Young  Fotheringham  took  his  money  and  went  up 
on  the  Rainy  River,  in  the  wilds  of  the  western  part  of 
this  Province,  and  started  a  sawmill.  Then  he  returned 
to  the  county  of  Perth  and  saw  Tom  Blake  Carruthers 
and  told  him  that  on  the  Rainy  River  was  the  place  to 
live,  with  the  money  flowing  in.  Fotheringham  induced 
Carruthers  to  sell  his  farm  and  move  out  to  the  Rainy 
River  and  build  a  house  and  work  in  the  sawmill.  Nettie 
Slack  Carruthers  and  the  two  little  children,  one  four  and 
the  other  two  years  old,  accompanied  Tom.  They  built 
a  house  near  the  mill  and  Carruthers  worked  in  the  mill. 
Nettie  Slack  kept  house  for  Tom,  and  assisted  a  Mrs. 
Walt  in  the  care  of  Fotheringham's  home.  Mrs.  Walt 
said  Nettie  Slack  was  more  like  a  visitor  than  a  house- 
keeper. Fotheringham  was  unmarried.  These  condi- 
tions continued  until  January,  1891.  On  the  morning  of 
January  3d  two  shots  resounded,  and  Nettie  Slack  rushed 
out  of  her  house,  shouting :  '  Tom  is  dead  !  Tom  is 
dead  ! '  She  wrung  her  hands,  and  told  those  who  came 
running  to  the  house  that  she  was  down  at  the  river  after 
a  pail  of  water  when  she  heard  the  shots  and  ran  up  and 
found  her  husband  dead  on  the  floor.  She  had  left  him 
writing  at  a  table.  She  was  the  principal  witness  at  the 
inquest,  and  the  coroner's  jury  brought  in  an  open 
verdict. 

"  It  was  over  two  hundred  miles  to  civilisation.  There 
were  no  roads  ;  only  a  dog  trail  in  winter.  But  after  the 
inquest  Nettie  Slack  took  her  two  children  and  started 
out  with  the  mail  carrier  to  get  away  from  Rainy  River. 
She  slept  out  four  nights  in  the  snow-banks,  and  finally 
arrived  at  Rat  Portage,  where  she  took  the  train  for  her 
old  home  near  St.  Mary's,  in  the  county  of  Perth.  After 
navigation  opened  in  the  spring,  people  in  the  Rainy 
River  district  began  to  talk,  and  in  July,  1891,  I  went  up 
to  Rainy  River.  1  had  the  body  of  Tom  Carruthers  ex- 
humed and  a  post  mortem  made,  and  had  the  head  cut 
off.     The  moment  I  saw  where  the  two  bullets  entered 


338      MEMOIRS  OF  A  GREAT  DETECTIVE 

the  skull  I  knew  it  was  not  suicide  but  murder.  One 
had  entered  well  around  at  the  back  of  the  head,  behind 
the  right  ear.  The  other  entered  the  left  temple.  The 
doctor  showed  that  either  would  have  caused  death  as  it 
crashed  into  the  brain,  and  I  saw  clearly  that  Tom  Car- 
ruthers  never  shot  himself  in  the  back  of  the  head,  be- 
hind the  right  ear,  and  also  in  the  left  temple. 

"  Nettie  Slack  had  said  her  husband  had  written  a  note 
of  farewell  as  he  sat  at  the  table  while  she  was  out  after 
a  pail  of  water.     I  obtained  this  note.     It  read  : 

" «  I  was  heart-broken  and  tired  of  life  and  decided  to 
end  the  awful  conflict.     Good-bye. 

" «  Tom.' 

"  I  obtained  specimens  of  Nettie  Slack's  handwriting. 
It  was  just  as  I  suspected.  The  farewell  note  was  a 
clumsy  forgery  written  by  her.  I  had  this  note  photo- 
graphed. I  got  the  thirty-eight  calibre  revolver.  Tom 
was  supposed  to  have  written  the  farewell  and  then  to 
have  shot  himself  twice  in  the  head  and  to  have  fallen 
dead  on  the  floor  beside  the  table.  He  fell  dead,  but  the 
shots  were  fired  by  another.  I  returned  to  Rat  Portage 
and  laid  an  information  against  Nettie  Slack  Carruthers, 
and  obtained  a  warrant  for  her  arrest.  I  was  on  my  way 
to  St.  Mary's  when  I  learned  she  was  in  Toronto,  and  I 
arrested  Nettie  Slack  Carruthers  at  the  house  of  a  Mrs. 
Walsh,  and  took  her  back  to  Rat  Portage  and  locked  her 
up.  Her  brothers  were  well-to-do,  and  they  went  to  Rat 
Portage  and  saw  her,  and  then  engaged  B.  B.  Osier,  the 
foremost  counsel  in  Canada,  to  defend  her.  The  pre- 
liminary examination  extended  over  a  week,  and  Mrs. 
Carruthers  was  committed  to  the  Port  Arthur  gaol  for 
trial.     All  concerned  knew  a  big  legal  battle  would  follow. 

"  I  talked  with  the  five-year-old  child. 

" '  Popy  shot  himself ;  Popy  shot  himself,'  the  tot 
would  repeat  over  and  over. 

" '  Who  told  you  to  say  that  ?  '  I  asked. 

"  '  Mammy,'  said  the  child,  and  it  began  afresh,  '  Popy 
shot  himself;  Popy  shot  himself.' 


THE  LADY  OF  PIERCING  BLACK  EYES     339 

"  Justice  Armour  presided  at  the  trial.  R.  C.  Clute 
prosecuted,  and  B.  B.  Osier  defended.  The  trial  did  not 
come  on  until  June,  1892.  In  the  meantime,  Nettie 
Slack's  sister,  a  nice-looking  girl,  had  gone  to  Port 
Arthur  and  stayed  at  the  house  of  a  merchant.  Nettie 
Slack,  in  her  girlhood,  had  played  the  organ  in  the  coun- 
try church  near  St.  Mary's,  and  her  sister  had  an  organ 
sent  to  the  gaol  and  Nettie  Slack  played  sacred  music 
and  sang  hymns  day  after  day.  The  men  for  jurors  were 
selected  by  the  sheriff  and  through  some  mistake  the 
merchant,  at  whose  house  Nettie  Slack's  sister  stayed, 
was  drawn  as  a  juror  along  with  others  inclined  to  be 
friendly  to  the  prisoner. 

"  I  had  handwriting  experts  to  prove  the  farewell  note 
a  forgery.  The  wily  Osier  admitted  the  letter  was  a  for- 
gery, and  turning  to  the  jury  he  exclaimed :  '  What 
would  a  poor  woman  do  in  a  strange  country  but  look 
for  an  excuse  to  defend  herself  from  an  unjust  accusation 
that  might  be  made  ? '  He  was  a  great  lawyer  and  a  re- 
sourceful advocate,  was  Osier.  I  produced  the  skull  and 
showed  to  the  jury  how  impossible  it  was  for  Carruthers 
to  have  shot  himself  where  the  two  bullets  entered  the 
head.  Dr.  Macdonnell  had  the  skull  in  charge  and  it 
slipped  and  fell  on  the  table  and  rolled  to  the  floor. 
Nettie  Slack  laughed.  Osier  saw  her,  and  quick  as  a 
flash  he  opened  out  his  long  gown  like  a  curtain  and 
stood  so  that  the  jury  could  not  see  her.  Then  he 
walked  back  to  the  box  with  his  gown  open  and  said : 

"  '  You  villain  !  It's  crying  you  should  be  instead  of 
laughing  !     You  deserve  to  be  hung  ! ' 

"  I  heard  him.     Straightway  Nettie  Slack  wept. 

" '  That's  better,'  said  Osier,  and  he  drew  in  his 
gown. 

"  Osier  and  I  often  talked  of  this  afterwards. 

"  One  of  the  witnesses  was  a  woodman,  named  Cam- 
eron. He  stumbled  and  mumbled  and  hesitated  in  his 
testimony,  evidently  having  a  wholesome  regard  for 
Nettie  Slack's  powerful  physique.  The  virago  eyed  him. 
Mr.  Clute  asked  Cameron  if  Mrs.  Carruthers  had  shown 
any  signs  of  grief  over  her  dead  husband. 


340     MEMOIRS  OF  A  GREAT  DETECTIVE 

"  '  I — I — well,'  mumbled  the  reluctant  Cameron,  «  1 
don't  think  so.' 

"  Up  spoke  the  woman. 

"  '  Say  yes,  Cameron,'  she  said.  '  You  know  you  saw 
me  kissing  the  body.' 

"  I  proved  where  a  spot  of  blood,  some  distance  from 
the  table  and  the  body,  had  been  washed  up,  but  not  suf- 
ficiently to  obliterate  the  traces  of  it.  I  showed  the 
woman  was  a  clever  shot  with  the  pistol.  I  showed  that 
Fotheringham  was  not  near  the  house  at  the  time,  and 
that  no  one  but  Tom  and  the  woman  and  the  two  tots  were 
there.  Tom  and  the  tots  could  not  have  done  the  shoot- 
ing. The  charge  of  Justice  Armour  emphasised  this  and 
clearly  indicated  who  was  guilty.  The  jury  had  a  hard 
tussle,  but  the  friends  stood  fast.  Mrs.  Carruthers  was 
acquitted  on  Saturday,  June  nth,  1892.  She  came  down 
from  Port  Arthur  on  the  same  boat  I  did.  She  spied  me 
on  deck  and  came  over  to  me. 

" '  Well,  Murray,  you  didn't  hang  me  after  all,'  she 
said. 

"  *  I  don't  hang  anybody/  said  I. 

"  She  looked  at  me  and  smiled. 

" '  You  were  pretty  decent,'  she  said,  '  but  that  old 
rowdedow  of  a  judge  tried  to  put  the  black  cap  on  me 
right  in  court.' 

"  After  the  verdict  Justice  Armour  had  said  to  the 
jurors  that  their  verdict  was  not  consistent  with  the  evi- 
dence, and  had  said  to  the  woman  :  *  Prisoner,  you  are 
acquitted ;  I  hope  your  conscience  is  acquitted.'  The 
woman  sneered. 

"  «  Murray,  life's  sweet,  but  it  isn't  worth  much  without 
liberty,'  she  said,  as  she  sniffed  the  air  aboard  boat,  after 
almost  a  year  in  gaol. 

"  I  watched  her  as  she  stood  there,  her  eyes  flashing, 
her  bosom  heaving,  a  towering  creature  stirred  by  a  sight 
of  water,  land,  and  sky. 

"  '  Murray,'  she  said,  suddenly,  tensely, '  it  was  worth  it.' 

"  '  What  was  worth  what  ? '  I  said. 

"  She  laughed ;  then  her  face,  for  once,  seemed  to  be- 
come almost  sad. 


AN  ESCAPER  OF  GENIUS  341 

"  '  I  mean  the  year  in  gaol,'  she  said.  '  A  whole  year 
out  of  my  life.' 

"  She  looked  full  at  me,  then  walked  away.  It  was  my 
last  glimpse  of  the  lady  with  the  piercing  black  eyes." 


LIV 
AN  ESCAPER  OF  GENIUS 

A  man  of  many  disguises  appeared  in  Canada  in  1890. 
He  had  wigs  and  beards  and  moustaches  of  varying  sizes, 
shades,  and  shapes.  He  had  a  walk  and  talk,  and  com- 
plete change  of  clothes  to  match  every  alteration  of  hair 
aud  face.  Sometimes  he  was  a  French  tourist,  again  a 
patriarchal  clergyman,  again  a  gruff,  bluff  Englishman, 
then  a  keen  Yankee  trader,  next  a  quiet  country  gentle- 
man, then  a  prosperous  American  banker,  next  an  inno- 
cent old  farmer,  until  he  seemed  to  have  stepped  out  of 
the  pages  of  fiction,  a  remarkable  character  who  would  flit 
around  a  corner — and,  presto  !  he  was  a  different  man. 

"  His  first  appearance  was  in  Halifax,  Nova  Scotia," 
says  Murray.  "  He  purported  to  be  a  yachtsman,  and 
put  up  at  the  best  hotel,  registering  as  Mr.  Thompson. 
He  stayed  a  few  days,  getting  acquainted  quickly,  and 
saying  he  expected  his  yacht  to  arrive  shortly,  and  he  had 
come  on  from  Boston  by  rail.  He  looked  the  typical 
gentleman  yachtsman.  Finally  he  went  to  a  wholesale 
liquor  and  supply  house  and  bought  $500  worth  of  wines 
and  groceries  for  his  yacht,  to  be  delivered  aboard  on  the 
yacht's  arrival.  He  presented  a  Boston  draft  for  $2,000, 
and  they  accommodatingly  gave  him  $1,500  cash.  He 
skipped.  His  next  stop  was  at  Moncton,  one  hundred 
and  fifty  miles  north  of  Halifax,  where  he  appeared  as  a 
gay  young  sport,  expecting  some  horses  to  arrive.  He 
finally  got  into  the  hotel  for  $500  on  a  bogus  draft,  and 
then  flitted  to  the  eastern  townships  of  the  Province  of 
Quebec,  where  he  did  a  land  office  business  in  drafts,  and 
where  he  posed  as  a  minister,  a  doctor,  and  a  German 


342     MEMOIRS  OF  A  GREAT  DETECTIVE 

globe-trotter.  He  seemed  to  have  some  hypnotic  power 
over  the  hotel  people  and  tradesmen.  They  cashed  his 
bogus  drafts  without  suspicion.  From  Quebec  he 
jumped  to  Belleville,  Ontario,  where  he  bought  a  suit  of 
clothes  from  a  merchant  tailor  about  noon  on  a  Saturday, 
shortly  before  the  banks  closed.  He  gave  the  tailor  a 
draft  for  $500,  the  tailor  endorsed  it,  the  bank  cashed  it, 
and  away  went  the  stranger.  He  skipped  Toronto, 
and  alighted  in  Listowel.  There  he  pretended  to  be  buy- 
ing horses,  and  he  did  buy  a  horse.  A  man  named 
Laurie  met  him  there. 

"  There  was  a  private  banker  in  Listowel  named  John 
Scott,  who  was  very  rich  and  very  close.  He  had  a  fine 
fancy  team.  The  stranger  offered  to  buy  the  team  from 
Scott.  They  had  two  or  three  dickers  over  it.  In  the 
course  of  one  of  these  horse  talks  the  horse-buyer  asked 
Scott  what  discount  he  charged  on  American  drafts. 
Scott  named  a  rate.     The  stranger  said  it  was  too  much. 

"  '  I  don't  want  to  pay  that  much,'  he  said.  '  I've  got 
them  cashed  at  so-and-so,  and  so-and  so,  and  so-and-so, 
for  less,'  he  added,  naming  a  number  of  places  and  banks 
and  bankers. 

"  At  length  he  made  an  arrangement  with  Scott  to 
cash  a  draft  on  the  First  National  Bank  of  Mahanoy  City, 
Pennsylvania,  William  L.  Yoder,  cashier,  for  $1,000.  He 
got  the  money  and  skipped  out.     Scott  was  furious. 

"  The  next  place  this  draftsman  turned  up  was  in 
Winnipeg.  It  was  here  he  showed  his  first  sign  of  drink. 
He  had  gone  through  Canada  from  the  Atlantic  Ocean 
on  the  east,  cashing  bogus  drafts  totalling  high  up  in  the 
thousands,  without  a  slip-up,  and  he  was  well  on  his  way 
towards  the  Pacific  Ocean,  when  he  stopped  in  Winnipeg 
and  got  a  jag.  He  went  to  a  bank  to  get  a  draft  for 
$1,000  cashed  on  a  Louisiana  bank.  Like  all  his  drafts 
the  handiwork  was  perfect.  But  his  leering  manner 
aroused  the  suspicions  of  the  manager  of  the  bank,  who 
told  him  to  leave  the  draft  '  until  the  manager  comes  in,' 
and  to  return  in  three  hours,  and  see  the  manager,  who 
would  cash  it  for  him.  The  manager  played  it  well, 
although  if  the  stranger  had  not  been  drinking  he  would 


AN  ESCAPER  OF  GENIUS  343 

not  have  returned.  The  manager  telegraphed  to  the 
Louisiana  bank,  and  the  answer  came  that  the  draft  was 
bogus.  The  stranger,  who  was  going  under  the  name 
of  Hale  in  Winnipeg,  called  again  at  the  bank  after  three 
hours,  was  arrested,  convicted  of  attempting  to  pass 
bogus  drafts,  and  sent  to  gaol  for  one  year  as  Edward 
Hale. 

"  I  got  after  him  in  1892.  Some  of  those  he  fleeced 
held  back  for  months  before  they  notified  any  one  of  it. 
I  started  after  him  on  the  Scott  case,  and  all  the  while  he 
was  in  gaol  in  Winnipeg.  I  finally  located  him  there. 
He  heard  I  was  after  him,  and  he  became  very  religious 
in  the  gaol,  and  at  length  he  preached  there  to  his  fellow 
prisoners,  exhorting  them  to  reform  and  forsake  evil 
ways.  Crossley  and  Hunter,  the  evangelists,  went  to  see 
him,  and  heard  him  preach,  and  thought  he  was  reformed. 
The  Rev.  Mr.  Crossley  wrote  to  the  Attorney-General 
and  to  me  about  him.  I  read  the  letter,  and  laid  it  away. 
I  was  biding  my  time,  waiting  for  the  expiration  of  Hale's 
time  in  Winnipeg.  The  day  he  walked  out  of  gaol  I 
intended  to  take  him  to  Ontario  to  answer  for  the  Listo- 
wel  draft. 

"  Hale  sent  for  Fighting  MacKenzie,  who  had  acted  as 
attorney  for  Dobbin  on  one  of  my  visits  to  Winnipeg. 

" '  There  is  $1,000,000  in  it  if  I  can  get  out,'  said  Hale. 
'  I  was  full  when  I  did  this,  and  I  never  did  it  before.  If 
I  can  get  free  it  means  millions.' 

"  Hale  then  told  of  a  patent  he  had  for  '  manufacturing 
mosaic  embroidery.'  He  sent  for  his  wife,  who  came 
from  the  States,  bringing  a  working  model  of  this  patent. 
Hale  produced  also  forged  patent  rights  for  the  United 
States  and  Canada,  such  clever  forgeries  that  the  lawyer 
did  not  detect  them. 

"  •  I'll  give  you  half  the  patent  rights  if  you  give  me 
$1,500,'  said  Hale.  'It  is  worth  $200,000  to  anybody, 
but  I  want  to  get  out.  If  I  was  out  I  would  not  take 
$200,000  for  a  quarter  interest  in  it.' 

"  The  turnkey  was  called  in.  He  agreed  to  give  $500 
for  half  the  Canada  patent  rights.  The  attorney  was  to 
give  $1,000  for  half  the  United  States  patent  rights.    The 


344     MEMOIRS  OF  A  GREAT  DETECTIVE 

$1,500  was  paid  to  Hale,  who  gave  it  to  his  wife,  and  she 
went  away,  taking  the  cash  with  her.  The  patent  papers 
were  executed.  Consul  Taylor  was  called  in  and  wit- 
nessed the  transaction. 

"  Then  came  the  question  of  Hale's  release.  He  ex- 
plained that  he  must  have  his  liberty  to  realise  on  the 
patents.  In  telling  later  of  what  happened  he  said  the 
turnkey  took  a  saw  to  his  cell. 

" '  Saw  the  bars  and  get  out,  so  I  may  keep  my  skirts 
clear,'  he  said. 

"  Hale  went  down  with  the  saw  and  returned  almost 
immediately. 

" '  That  won't  saw  hard  butter,'  said  Hale,  and  he  threw 
down  the  saw  in  disgust. 

"  That  night  he  was  let  out  into  the  open  yard.  He 
returned  to  the  window  and  hailed  the  turnkey. 

"  '  How  do  I  get  over  the  wall  ? '  asked  Hale. 

" '  There  is  a  loose  board  walk  a  foot  wide,'  said  the 
turnkey.     '  Put  it  over  the  wall  and  slide  down.' 

"  This  is  Hale's  story.  He  did  as  he  said  the  turnkey 
told  him.  He  left  a  note  stating  nobody  was  to  blame, 
and  telling  how  he  was  supposed  to  have  escaped.  The 
escape  was  reported,  and  I  set  out  to  get  Hale.  With 
his  disguises  off  he  was  a  little,  smooth-shaven,  sandy- 
haired  fellow,  with  false  front  teeth.  I  had  his  photo- 
graph, which  had  been  taken  as  he  was,  without  make-up 
or  disguise,  when  he  was  locked  up  in  Winnipeg.  I  knew 
he  was  a  clever  man.  His  work  proved  him  to  be  as 
shrewd  as  any  crook  on  the  continent.  I  went  to  New 
York  and  saw  Byrnes,  and  some  of  his  officers  remem- 
bered him.  He  had  hung  out  in  Brooklyn,  and  was 
known  as  Ed.  Hayes.  Those  who  knew  him  said  he  was 
as  slick  in  his  line  as  any  man  in  America.  I  went  to 
Winnipeg,  and  learned  there  that  when  the  model  of  the 
supposed  patented  machine  had  arrived  in  Winnipeg  with 
Hale's  wife,  it  had  been  shipped  by  express  from  St.  Paul, 
Minnesota.  I  had  learned  in  New  York  that  Hale's 
name  was  Ed.  Failing.  I  prepared  extradition  papers, 
and  went  to  Minneapolis,  arriving  there  on  Wednesday, 
April  nth,  1892.     I  conferred  with  my  old  friend,  Jim 


AN  ESCAPER  OF  GENIUS  345 

Hankinson,  for  thirty  years  a  detective.  We  began  a 
hunt  for  people  of  the  name  of  Failing,  and  we  found  the 
superintendent  of  the  cattle  yards  near  New  Brighton 
was  named  Failing,  and  was  a  prominent  and  influential 
man.  From  neighbours  of  his  we  learned  he  had  a 
brother,  Ed.  Failing.  A  liveryman  at  New  Brighton, 
who  was  a  friend  of  Hankinson,  knew  Ed.,  and  said  he 
was  living  in  a  secluded,  lonely  place  some  miles  out  of 
New  Brighton,  with  his  wife  and  two  children.  The 
liveryman  said  he  came  in  for  his  mail  about  three  times 
a  week  at  eight  o'clock  in  the  morning.  We  waited,  and 
on  the  second  day  he  drove  up  to  the  post-office.  I 
arrested  him. 

"  He  became  greatly  excited,  shouted  that  it  was  an 
outrage,  and  declared  I  had  the  wrong  man,  and  that  he 
was  an  honest  farmer.  He  ranted  while  I  snapped  the 
handcuffs  on  him,  and  then  he  quieted  down,  still  protest- 
ing it  was  a  mistake,  and  asked  to  be  permitted  to  go  out 
to  his  home  and  say  good-bye  to  his  folks.  I  consented, 
and  we  drove  out  to  his  home.  His  wife  greeted  us  at 
the  door — a  red-haired,  pretty  young  woman  of  twenty- 
five.  She  nodded  indoors,  and  an  older,  grey-haired 
woman  appeared.  Failing  said  she  was  his  mother. 
When  Failing  told  them  of  his  arrest  and  how  I  had 
consented  to  let  him  say  good-bye  to  them,  one  of  them 
fell  on  my  neck  to  embrace  me.  I  pretended  not  to  feel 
her  hand  slip  into  my  pockets  hunting  for  the  key  to  the 
handcuffs,  but  I  stepped  back  so  quickly  that  her  hand 
caught.  I  extricated  it,  and  apologised  for  the  clumsi- 
ness of  my  pocket  and  its  rudeness  in  holding  her  hand. 

"  Failing  started  to  walk  through  the  house.  He  ex- 
plained that  he  wanted  to  bid  the  old  place  good-bye.  I 
bade  him  keep  in  my  sight  and  not  far  from  me. 

" '  I  don't  intend  to  have  you  mistaking  me  for  the  old 
place,  and  bidding  us  both  good-bye,'  said  I. 

"  He  appeared  much  hurt,  and  said  I  spoke  harshly  to 
one  who  was  an  innocent  farmer.  We  drove  to  St.  Paul, 
leaving  his  family  weeping  in  the  doorway  until  they 
thought  we  were  out  of  sight,  but  a  bend  in  the  road 
showed  them  without  trace  of  tears.     Failing  fought  ex- 


346     MEMOIRS  OF  A  GREAT  DETECTIVE 

tradition.  He  denied  being  in  Canada,  and  he  called 
several  witnesses  to  prove  an  alibi.  I  had  gone  east  and 
arranged  for  my  witnesses  from  Canada.  On  my  trip 
east,  I  met  my  old  friend  Chief  Cusack,  of  Buffalo,  on  the 
train,  and  we  had  a  pleasant  ride  together,  and  exchanged 
some  photographs  of  crooks,  and  among  those  he  gave 
me  was  the  picture  of  a  fellow  who,  with  Shell  Hamilton, 
had  been  arrested  some  time  before  in  Buffalo  for  at- 
tempting a  sneak  on  Mrs.  Dickinson's  jewellery  store.  I 
had  seen  the  pair  at  the  Buffalo  police  headquarters,  and 
had  looked  them  over.  I  had  the  photographs  with  me 
when  I  returned  to  St.  Paul  for  the  extradition  pro- 
ceedings. 

"  One  of  the  witnesses  called  by  Failing  to  prove  an 
alibi  was  a  young  man  named  Collins.  He  was  the  last 
called,  following  the  wife,  the  mother,  and  a  tailor  and 
other  friends,  who  swore  Failing  was  in  Minneapolis  the 
day  he  foisted  the  bogus  draft  on  Banker  Scott  at  Lis- 
towel,  in  Canada.  Collins  swore  he  was  with  Failing  in 
Minneapolis  all  that  day,  and  that  he  (Collins)  was  con- 
nected with  a  Turkish  bath  in  the  West  House.  I  pulled 
a  photograph  out  of  my  pocket,  and  handed  it  to  my  at- 
torney, Markham. 

"  '  Were  you  ever  in  Buffalo,  New  York,  Collins  ? ' 

"  «  No,'  said  he. 

"  '  Ever  know  Shell  Hamilton  ? ' 

"  '  No,'  said  he. 

"  '  Is  that  your  photograph  ?  ' — and  Markham  handed 
him  the  picture  Cusack  had  given  to  me. 

"  Collins  wavered,  but  blurted  out :  '  No.' 

"  I  took  the  stand,  and  told  of  seeing  Collins  in  a  cell 
in  Buffalo,  and  I  showed  the  commissioner  the  police 
photograph.  That  settled  the  alibi.  I  had  Bob  Wood, 
a  liveryman  of  Listowel,  who  identified  Failing  positively, 
and  I  had  W.  L.  Yoder,  cashier  of  the  Mahanoy  City 
bank,  who  swore  the  draft  was  a  forgery.  Commissioner 
Spencer  committed  Failing  for  extradition,  and  on  May 
1 6th  I  started  for  Listowel  with  the  prisoner.  He  pro- 
tested it  was  an  outrage,  and  he  was  not  the  Failing  I 
was  after.     Up  to  Stratford  he  denied  his  identity. 


AN  ESCAPER  OF  GENIUS  347 

" '  Well,'  he  said,  as  the  train  left  Stratford.  <  Listowel 
is  next.  I  give  up  the  ghost.  I'll  put  you  to  no  more 
trouble.' 

" « I  don't  care  a  cuss  whether  you  do  or  not,'  I  an- 
swered, tartly  ;  for  he  had  done  all  he  could  to  block  me, 
and  ever  was  on  the  alert  for  an  opportunity  to  escape. 

"  Then  he  told  me  all  about  the  Winnipeg  business, 
and  the  fake  patent,  and  the  getting  out  of  gaol.  Banker 
Scott  was  at  Listowel  when  we  arrived.  When  Failing 
saw  him  he  walked  up  and  seized  the  hand  of  the  aston- 
ished Mr.  Scott,  and  shook  it  heartily  before  the  banker 
could  draw  it  away. 

'"Well,  well!  How  are  you,  Mr.  Scott?  How  de 
do  ? '  said  Failing  cordially. 

"  Banker  Scott  crimsoned  with  wrath,  and  snatched  his 
hand  free. 

"  <  Dang  scoundrel !  Rascallion  !  Villain  !  Black- 
guard ! '  sputtered  Banker  Scott.  '  How  dare  you  shake 
hands  with  me  ?  ' 

"  '  Between  two  gentlemen,'  responded  Failing  airily. 

"  He  was  committed  for  trial,  and  I  took  him  to  Strat- 
ford gaol,  and  warned  the  gaoler  that  he  was  a  slippery 
fellow.  The  gaoler  was  an  old  soldier,  who  grew  indig- 
nant over  the  reminder.  Failing  greeted  him  suavely, 
and  bade  him  not  be  wrathful  at  me,  as  I  meant  well.  I 
laughed  to  myself.  Failing  was  to  be  tried  at  the  Fall 
Assizes.  A  few  days  before  the  Assizes  were  to  begin  I 
received  a  letter  from  him  saying  he  would  plead  guilty, 
and  he  hoped  I  would  put  in  a  good  word  for  him.  The 
next  day  he  escaped  from  Stratford  gaol.  As  in  Winni- 
peg, he  left  a  note  saying  no  one  was  to  blame.  He  also 
left  a  wooden  key  he  had  made  from  a  round  of  a  chair. 
The  key  was  nicely  made,  but  I  had  my  doubts  about 
his  unlocking  four  doors  with  that  key.  I  received  tele- 
grams from  the  authorities  about  his  escape,  but  I  never 
made  much  of  an  effort  to  get  him.  I  heard  of  him  fre- 
quently thereafter  for  several  years.  He  passed  cheques 
in  Salt  Lake  City,  and  escaped.  He  worked  off  some 
drafts  in  Ogden  and  escaped.  I  heard  he  beat  gaol  five 
times  thereafter.     He  turned  up  in  Carson  City,  Nevada, 


348     MEMOIRS  OF  A  GREAT  DETECTIVE 

then  in  California,  and  later  in  Colorado.  He  was  a 
clever  one  with  the  blarney,  and  was  a  great '  con '  man. 
"  Professionals  considered  him  one  of  the  cleverest  in 
the  business.  He  was  a  bird,  but  not  a  gaol-bird  if  he 
could  help  it,  and  he  usually  managed  to  help  it.  I  sup- 
pose there  are  gaolers  in  both  the  United  States  and 
Canada  who  hold  him  in  tender  remembrance." 


LV 

PENNYFEATHER  OF  THE  BANK 

Pennyfeather's  life  was  one  long  series  of  additions 
and  subtractions.  Pennyfeather  was  an  accountant  in  the 
Chatham  branch  of  the  Standard  Bank.  He  was  a  faith- 
ful fellow,  and  if  $9,000  had  not  vanished  from  the  Chat- 
ham branch,  Pennyfeather  to  this  day  might  have  been 
adding  columns  of  figures  and  peering  at  depositors 
through  the  cross-work  of  his  cage  in  the  bank. 

"  There  was  a  township  fair  near  Chatham  on  October 
1st,  1892,"  says  Murray.  "  The  day  after  the  fair  it  was 
found  that  $9,000  in  bills  had  disappeared  from  the  bank. 
The  Department  was  notified  immediately,  and  I  went  to 
Chatham.  I  found  the  bank's  safe  untouched.  It  had 
not  been  forced,  and  there  had  been  no  tampering  with 
its  locks.  I  examined  Manager  Rogers.  He  knew  noth- 
ing about  it.  The  cash  that  had  vanished  was  in  charge 
of  Cashier  Brown.  I  called  in  Cashier  Brown,  and  ques- 
tioned him.  He  said  he  had  put  the  $9,000  in  a  tin  box, 
and  during  business  hours  of  the  bank  on  October  1st 
the  tin  box  was  out  of  the  vault,  as  was  customary  with  a 
cash-box,  and  was  in  its  usual  place  in  the  cage.  Cashier 
Brown  said  that,  owing  to  his  desire  to  get  away  to  the 
fair,  he  had  closed  the  vault  hurriedly  and  forgot  to  put 
the  cash-box  in  the  vault.  In  fact,  he  had  supposed  it 
had  been  put  in  the  vault  before  he  closed  it. 

"  I  went  out  and  talked  to  the  people  across  the  street 
from  the  bank,  and  asked  them  particularly  about  whether 


PENNYFEATHER  OF  THE  BANK         349 

they  had  seen  any  person  in  or  around  the  bank  after  the 
bank  closed.  Cashier  Brown's  statement  had  satisfied 
me  that  no  burglars  had  done  the  job,  but  some  one  aware 
of  the  fact  that  the  tin  box  full  of  cash  had  been  left  out 
of  the  vault  must  have  had  a  hand  in  it,  if  he  was  not  the 
sole  perpetrator  of  the  crime.  A  person  to  have  this 
knowledge  of  the  tin  box  must  have  been  in  the  bank 
when  Cashier  Brown  closed  the  vault,  or  must  have  gone 
into  the  bank  after  it  had  been  locked  up  for  the  day. 
No  locks  had  been  forced  on  any  of  the  doors  of  the 
building.  The  people  across  the  street  had  seen  no 
strange  persons  in  or  around  the  bank  after  the  usual 
time  of  closing  the  vault. 

"  I  returned  to  the  bank.  Pennyfeather,  the  account- 
ant, who  had  been  out  at  luncheon,  had  returned,  and  I 
called  him  in.  Pennyfeather  came  into  the  private  room 
very  slowly.  He  walked  with  a  mincing  tread,  as  if  to 
avoid  stepping  on  eggs.  He  had  just  been  married.  In 
fact,  he  had  violated  a  rule  of  the  bank,  which  forbade  an 
employee  getting  married  unless  he  was  in  receipt  of  a 
certain  amount  of  salary  from  the  bank.  The  object  of 
this  rule  was  to  compel  employees  to  incur  no  incum- 
brances beyond  their  resources,  and  a  wife  was  regarded 
as  an  incumbrance ;  and  in  his  efforts  to  provide  properly 
for  her,  the  young  husband,  who  married  on  insufficient 
income,  might  be  tempted  to  borrow  from  the  bank's 
funds.  I  have  heard  a  variety  of  opinions  expressed 
about  this  rule.  Thirty  years  ago  I  knew  folks  who 
married  on  fifty  cents  and  a  horse  and  waggon,  and  some 
had  nothing  but  hope  and  faith.  They  got  along  well, 
but  of  course  they  were  not  employed  in  a  bank.  It  may 
be  a  wise  rule,  but  when  two  young  folks,  with  their  full 
share  of'  gumption,'  decide  that  in  the  course  of  human 
events  it  was  intended  they  should  get  married,  all  the 
banks  in  Christendom  are  not  apt  to  avail.  Marriages  are 
made  in  heaven,  not  in  banks,  we  are  told.  The  com- 
pound interest  of  happiness  or  misery  resulting  from  them 
may  cause  us  to  wonder  if,  after  all,  banking  rules  may 
not  govern  the  transaction. 

"  Pennyfeather  had  broken  the  rules  of  the  bank.     He 


350     MEMOIRS  OF  A  GREAT  DETECTIVE 

had  married  on  a  salary  below  the  minimum  fixed  for 
wedding  wages.  He  was  to  be  discharged.  He  knew  it 
some  days  before  the  tin  box  vanished.  He  knew  that 
if  he  married  he  would  lose  his  job  with  the  bank.  He 
knew  also  that  it  might  be  many  a  day  in  the  bank  before 
he  could  expect  to  reach  the  marriage  sum  in  the  salary 
line.  So  he  decided  to  marry  anyhow,  on  the  theory  that 
even  if  he  did  not  work  in  a  bank  he  would  not  have  to 
get  off  the  earth.  Then  he  married,  and  then  the  $9,000 
cash  in  the  tin  box  disappeared.  I  looked  at  Pennyfeather, 
the  happy  young  husband,  and  I  smiled.  Pennyfeather 
smiled  a  wan  smile. 

" '  'Tis  a  pleasant  day,  Mr.  Pennyfeather/  said  I.  '  Be 
seated.' 

"  Pennyfeather  sat  down.     Instantly  he  arose. 

" '  Excuse  me  a  moment,  please,'  said  he.  '  I  feel  ill. 
I  will  return.' 

"  Thereupon  Pennyfeather  hastened  to  the  toilet-room, 
and  presently  I  heard  a  noise  as  of  a  man  in  the  throes  of 
retching.  In  a  few  minutes  Pennyfeather  returned,  pale 
and  faint,  and  sank  into  a  chair.  I  had  been  in  the 
toilet-room  a  few  minutes  before,  to  wash  the  grime  from 
my  hands  after  poking  around  in  the  vault.  I  knew  there 
was  no  way  of  escape  from  it,  for  as  I  lathered  my  hands 
with  a  big  cake  of  soap  I  had  looked  for  outlets  from  the 
room. 

" '  Now  please  tell  me,  Mr.  Pennyfeather,  the  last  you 
saw  of  this  tin  box  and  its  contents,'  said  I. 

"  Pennyfeather  gulped  and  gasped. 

" '  Excuse  me  again,  please,'  said  he,  and  he  made  a 
second  hurried  exit  to  the  toilet-room,  and  once  more 
I  heard  the  noise  of  belching ;  and  presently  in  came 
Pennyfeather,  pallid  and  feeble,  with  his  voice  quite  weak. 

"  Pennyfeather  dropped  into  the  chair,  and  gazed  at 
me  with  sunken  eyes,  and  on  his  lips  were  little  flecks  of 
foam. 

"  '  Have  you  ever  had  fits,  Mr.  Pennyfeather  ?  '  I  asked 
politely.  '  I  mean,  to  the  best  of  your  knowledge  or 
recollection  have  you  ever  had  fits  ?  ' 

"  Pennyfeather  closed  his  eyes  and  breathed  heavily. 


PENNYFEATHER  OF  THE  BANK         351 

I  waited.  Finally  he  opened  them  a  wee  bit  and  looked 
at  me. 

" '  You  were  about  to  say  where  you  last  saw  the  tin 
box  and  its  contents,'  I  resumed. 

"  Up  rose  Pennyfeather  again. 

" '  Excuse  me,'  said  he,  '  I  am  seized  again.' 

"  Away  he  went  to  the  toilet-room.  I  noticed  that  he 
went  with  celerity,  but  returned  with  difficulty.  I  heard 
again  the  rumblings  of  a  human  volcano  in  a  state  of 
eruption.  I  waited,  and  at  length  Pennyfeather  tottered 
in  and  collapsed  in  a  chair.  He  was  breathing  like  a  fish 
out  of  water,  and  his  lips  were  frothy. 

" '  My  dear  Mr.  Pennyfeather,'  I  began.  *  Let  us  for- 
get the  interruptions,  and  begin  anew  with  your  last  sight 
of  the  contents  of  the  tin  box.' 

"  But  Pennyfeather  staggered  to  the  toilet,  and  when 
he  reappeared  he  was  ghastly  white  and  deathly  sick, 
judging  from  appearances. 

"  '  I  must  go  home,'  he  whispered.  '  I  am  purging  and 
retching  myself  away.  I  feel  death  in  me.  I  will  see  you 
when  I  recover,  if  I  ever  do  recover.' 

"  I  bowed,  and  Pennyfeather  was  escorted  to  his  home, 
and  two  doctors  were  called  in  to  attend  him.  After  he 
had  gone  an  idea  struck  me.  I  went  to  the  toilet-room 
to  wash  my  hands.  I  picked  up  the  soap,  and  lo  !  instead 
of  the  big  cake  I  had  used  before  Pennyfeather  came  in, 
there  was  a  mere  remnant  of  what  once  had  been  the 
cake. 

" '  Has  some  one  eaten  it  ?  '  I  exclaimed  to  myself. 

"  That  night  I  called  at  Pennyfeather's  house  with 
President  Cowan  of  the  Standard  Bank.  Pennyfeather 
I  seemingly  was  very  ill,  moaning  faintly,  and  looking 
Ivery  white.  His  wife  was  there.  President  Cowan  got 
JDr.  Brown  the  next  morning,  and  the  physician  exam- 
ined Pennyfeather.  All  the  doctors  said  he  had  typhoid 
fever. 

" '  Can  he  be  suffering  from  soapus  typhus  ?  '  was  my 
question. 

" '  Might  I  ask  what  soapus  typhus  is  ? '  asked  one  of 
the  doctors. 


352     MEMOIRS  OF  A  GREAT  DETECTIVE 

"  '  A  state  of  collapse  superinduced  by  over-indulgence 
in  toilet  soap,'  I  said. 

"  They  held  it  was  typhoid  fever.  I  said  that  if  he  had 
typhoid  it  would  be  weeks  before  he  was  able  to  be 
out.  I  went  away.  When  Pennyfeather  got  up  from  his 
sick-bed,  he  was  arrested  by  Officer  McKee,  of  Windsor. 
He  was  tried  and  acquitted  while  I  was  out  of  the  country. 
Of  course  he  no  longer  worked  for  the  bank.  He  became 
a  tavern  keeper. 

"  I  never  had  any  positive  proof  that  Pennyfeather  ate 
soap.  I  recall  Clutch  Donohue,  in  Kingston,  who  ate 
soap  to  break  his  health,  and  thereby  gain  a  pardon. 
He  ate  too  much,  and  after  he  got  out  he  died  in  a 
hotel  outside  the  penitentiary  walls  before  he  could  get 
home." 


LVI 

THE  TOUR  OF  CHARLES  HILTON  DAVIDSON 

While  Pennyfeather  was  suffering,  the  choir  of  the 
Methodist  Church  in  Burlington,  nine  miles  east  of 
Hamilton,  was  preparing  for  a  rehearsal.  The  organist 
of  the  church  was  Charles  Hilton  Davidson,  a  prominent 
nurseryman,  of  the  firm  of  John  Davidson  &  Son.  He 
was  about  forty  years  old,  an  accomplished  musician,  a 
pious  man,  and  popular  throughout  the  country  round- 
about, where  he  was  held  in  high  esteem  as  an  upright 
churchman  and  a  conscientious  Christian  gentleman. 
He  had  proposed  a  song  recital  by  the  choir.  Plans 
were  under  way  for  the  entertainment  when  the  pious 
organist  disappeared. 

"  Davidson  had  put  forged  notes  in  the  Bank  of  Ham- 
ilton, some  of  them  the  notes  of  fictitious  persons,  and 
others  the  alleged  notes  of  farmers  who  never  signed 
them,"  says  Murray.  "  Before  the  forgeries  were  dis- 
covered Davidson  vanished.  His  firm  failed  for  $40,000 
or  more,  and  on  October  15th,  1892,1  called  on  Manager 


TOUR  OF  CHARLES  HILTON  DAVIDSON     353 

James  Turnbull,  of  the  Bank  of  Hamilton,  and  went 
over  the  matter  with  him.  The  bank  was  anxious  to 
deter  forgeries  in  the  future  by  having  Davidson  located 
and  brought  back  and  punished,  even  if  it  cost  thousands 
of  dollars  and  meant  tens  of  thousands  of  miles  of  travel. 
Before  we  were  through  it  did  cost  thousands  of  dollars, 
and  I  travelled  over  20,000  miles.  My  first  move  was  to 
locate  Davidson.  His  wife  was  making  ready  to  leave 
Canada.  I  intercepted  a  letter  to  her  showing  he  was  in 
Mexico.  Thereupon  I  prepared  extradition  papers  and 
started,  following  his  wife's  route.  I  departed  on  Novem- 
ber 8th,  and  was  joined  in  Chicago  by  Mr.  Bartlett,  an 
accountant  of  the  Bank  of  Hamilton,  who  knew  David- 
son personally,  and  who  accompanied  me  to  El  Paso, 
Texas,  on  the  border  of  Mexico.  I  arrived  at  El  Paso 
on  November  16th,  and  called  on  my  friend  Manager 
Davis,  of  the  Wells-Fargo  Express  Company.  He  gave 
me  letters  to  several  persons  he  knew  in  Mexico,  among 
them  being  Superintendent  Comfort,  of  the  Mexican 
Central  Railroad.  I  had  known  Comfort  years  before, 
and  I  called  on  him  at  Ciudad  Juarez.  I  had  located 
Davidson,  under  the  name  of  Graham,  down  along  the 
line  of  the  road,  checking  cars  for  the  railroad  com- 
pany. The  intercepted  letter  had  aided  me  in  doing 
this. 

"  Mr.  Comfort  telegraphed  to  Davidson,  or  Graham,  to 
come  to  Ciudad  Juarez.  He  also  sent  for  the  mayor  of 
the  city,  a  polite,  over-bowing  Mexican  gentleman,  to 
whom  I  explained  my  desire  to  have  Davidson  taken 
into  custody.  The  mayor  bowed  and  smiled,  and  bowed 
and  said  he  would  have  officers  there  to  arrest  Davidson 
when  he  arrived.  Mr.  Comfort  said  Davidson  would  be 
there  in  about  four  hours.  The  mayor  bowed  and  with- 
drew. 

"  Four  hours  later  we  heard  the  tread  of  marching  feet 
and  the  rattle  of  arms  as  the  marchers  came  to  a  halt. 
We  looked  out,  and  there  were  the  mayor  and  the  in- 
tendente  and  sixty  men  in  full  uniform  and  armed  with 
carbines.     I  was  astonished. 

" '  I  only  want  one  man,'  I  said. 


354     MEMOIRS  OF  A  GREAT  DETECTIVE 

"  The  mayor  and  the  intendente  drew  themselves  up 
haughtily. 

"  '  Sir,'  said  the  mayor,  in  Spanish,  with  a  profound 
bow,  '  permit  me  to  inform  you  that  dignity  and  cere- 
mony make  even  arrests  impressive  in  this  country. 
Besides,'  and  he  bowed  again,  '  the  prisoner  may  be  des- 
perate.' 

"  I  bowed  profoundly,  and  said  no  more.  The  mayor 
bowed  profoundly,  and  all  was  serene  again. 

"  Ten  minutes  later  Davidson  appeared.  I  pointed 
him  out  to  the  mayor,  who  whispered  excitedly  to  the 
intendente.  The  intendente  gave  a  stern,  sharp  com- 
mand, and  the  sixty  soldiers  swooped  down  upon  David- 
son, formed  a  hollow  square  around  him  with  their 
carbines  levelled  at  him,  and  marched  him  to  the 
calaboose.  Never  will  I  forget  the  expression  on  David- 
son's face  as  the  soldiers  pounced  upon  him. 

" '  Beautiful !  '  exclaimed  the  mayor,  as  the  sixty  ar- 
rested the  one.  '  Such  courage !  Such  precision ! 
Bravo  !     Beautiful ! ' 

"  I  bowed  profoundly.     Words  failed  me. 

44  Davidson,  in  the  calaboose,  denied  his  identity.  I 
told  him  I  had  a  man  from  the  bank  waiting  across  the 
river. 

" '  Oh,  if  that's  the  case,  I'm  Davidson,'  he  said,  and 
signed  a  paper  to  that  effect. 

"  The  next  morning  I  had  Bartlett  come  over  and  identify 
him.  Bartlett  then  returned  to  Canada  by  rail.  David- 
son employed  Mexican  counsel.  I  told  him  frankly  that 
the  Bank  of  Hamilton  intended  to  have  him  punished  as 
a  warning  to  others,  and  to  put  a  stop  to  the  forgeries 
which  had  been  practised  in  the  past.  The  Mexican  at- 
torney said  he  would  have  Davidson  discharged,  and  he 
mentioned  the  precedent  case  of  Chanler,  the  Detroit 
agent  for  the  Michigan  Central  Railroad,  who  got  away 
to  Mexico,  where  Detroit  officers  apprehended  him,  and 
he  fought  extradition,  and  after  five  months  was  dis- 
charged. Davidson  also  was  relying  on  my  having  to 
take  him  back  to  Canada  through  the  United  States  ;  and 
the  moment  I  took  a  prisoner,  extradited  from  Mexico, 


TOUR  OF  CHARLES  HILTON  DAVIDSON     355 

into  any  other  than  English  territory,  he  could  demand 
and  receive  his  release,  and  the  chase  and  extradition 
would  have  to  begin  all  over  again. 

"  I  went  to  Chihuahua  and  conferred  with  Miguel 
Ahumada,  governor  of  Chihuahua.  I  became  quite  well 
acquainted  with  his  secretary,  Antonio  R.  Urrea,  to 
whom  I  had  a  letter.  Governor  Ahumada  gave  me  a 
letter  to  the  Mexican  judge  in  Ciudad  Juarez.  He  also 
ordered  a  double  guard  to  be  placed  on  Davidson,  and 
arranged  that  there  should  be  no  mysterious  escape  or 
release  of  the  prisoner.  I  then  went  to  the  city  of 
Mexico  and  conferred  with  Sir  Spencer  St.  John,  the 
British  Minister.  For  four  weeks  the  case  was  pending, 
and  then  Davidson  was  handed  over  to  me.  It  was  im- 
possible to  take  Davidson  back  to  Canada  through  the 
United  States,  as  he  would  have  claimed  his  liberty  the 
moment  we  crossed  the  Mexican  border.  I  decided  to 
go  to  Vera  Cruz,  and  embark  on  a  steamer  going  to 
Jamaica  or  some  other  English  port.  In  the  city  of 
Mexico  I  learned  that  there  were  no  steamers  running 
from  Vera  Cruz  either  to  England  or  Jamaica.  Arthur 
Chapman,  British  Consul  at  Vera  Cruz,  finally  learned 
of  a  direct  cargo  boat  from  Vera  Cruz  to  Santiago  de 
Cuba,  sailing  the  last  week  in  December  or  early  in 
January. 

"  While  in  the  city  of  Mexico  I  met  the  Hon.  H.  A. 
Cox,  now  of  Claremont,  Jamaica,  one  of  the  wealthiest 
men  on  the  island.  We  were  going  in  the  same  direc- 
tion, and  we  travelled  as  far  as  Jamaica  together.  There 
he  had  bought  a  large  estate,  called  The  Brambles,  near 
Claremont.  He  built  a  fine  mansion,  and  has  several 
hundred  natives  working  for  him.  He  is  raising  tea,  and 
is  making  a  perfect  success  of  it.  I  visited  him  a  few 
winters  ago,  and  spent  some  time  as  his  guest.  He  is 
one  of  the  most  interesting  gentlemen  I  ever  met.  When 
we  sailed  from  Vera  Cruz  I  had  a  letter  from  the  British 
Ambassador  in  Mexico  to  Senor  Golerando,  governor  of 
Cuba,  then  under  Spanish  rule,  requesting  him  to  give 
me  assistance  and  protection  while  in  his  domain.  The 
governor  was   a   brother-in-law  of  the   British   Consul, 


356     MEMOIRS  OF  A  GREAT  DETECTIVE 

Ransom,  at  Santiago  de  Cuba,  both  of  whom  entertained 
me  and  showed  me  every  courtesy,  so  Davidson  was  in 
no  position  to  make  trouble  there.  It  was  a  rough  trip 
on  the  freight  boat  from  Vera  Cruz  to  Santiago.  We 
sailed  on  the  steamer,  the  Earncliff,  on  January  3d,  1893, 
and  arrived  in  Santiago  seven  days  later,  on  January 
10th.  For  several  days  I  waited  in  Santiago,  endeavour- 
ing to  find  a  steamer  to  Jamaica  ;  but  there  seemed  to  be 
no  communication  of  any  kind  between  these  two  coun- 
tries. Although  the  nearest  points  between  these  two 
countries  are  only  150  miles  apart,  a  letter  posted  at 
either  point  had  to  go  by  way  of  New  York  to  reach  its 
destination.  I  finally  offered  the  owner  of  a  tug  $300  to 
land  rhe,  with  Davidson,  on  the  island  of  Jamaica.  He 
declined  to  do  so  for  less  than  $500.  So  I  sat  down  and 
waited  for  a  Spanish  steamer  which  called  at  Santiago 
once  a  month  on  its  way  to  Port  au  Prince,  Hayti.  I 
knew  that  a  steamer  sailed  monthly  from  Port  au  Prince 
to  Jamaica.  I  cabled  to  Arthur  Tweedie,  British  Con- 
sul-General at  Port  au  Prince,  to  learn  what  my  chance 
was  to  keep  possession  of  my  prisoner  there.  He  re- 
plied he  could  give  no  assurance,  but  would  do  every- 
thing in  his  power.  I  decided  to  chance  it,  and  obtained 
passports  for  Davidson  and  myself. 

"  I  sailed  on  the  Spanish  steamer  Manilla,  taking 
Davidson  with  me,  and  arrived  in  Port  au  Prince  on  Jan- 
uary 17th.  I  went  ashore,  leaving  Davidson  aboard  the 
steamer  under  guard  of  the  only  English-speaking  pas- 
senger aboard,  a  German  professor  in  a  college  at  Frank- 
fort-on-the-Main,  who  was  travelling  in  the  West  Indies 
preparing  a  paper  on  social  and  political  conditions. 
Consul-General  Tweedie  called  on  President  Hippolyte, 
who  issued  a  special  order  to  the  authorities  to  see  David- 
son did  not  escape,  and  I  then  landed  my  prisoner  with 
the  understanding  that  I  should  supply  the  guards  and 
pay  liberally  for  all  services  rendered.  A  revolution  had 
been  in  full  blast  in  Hayti  just  before  I  arrived. 

"  One  Sunday  morning,  while  Hippolyte  was  at  church, 
twenty  young  men  went  to  his  house  in  the  big  square,  a 
large  mansion,  with  a  high  stone  wall  topped  with  iron 


TOUR  OF  CHARLES  HILTON  DAVIDSON     357 

spikes.  They  passed  the  sentry  at  the  gate  as  members 
of  the  National  Guard  and  entered  the  house.  There 
were  a  great  many  generals  in  the  house — in  fact,  every 
tenth  man  in  Hayti  seemed  to  be  a  general.  They  had 
more  generals  in  Hayti  than  they  have  colonels  in  Ken- 
tucky. These  young  men  had  swords  under  their  capes, 
and  when  they  got  inside  they  cut  off  a  general's  head, 
and  the  row  began.  Hippolyte  heard  of  it,  hastened  out 
of  church,  rallied  his  men  and  they  began  to  shoot, 
shoot,  shoot,  until  there  were  four  hundred  lying  dead  in 
Port  au  Prince.  The  revolutionists  meanwhile  had  gone 
to  the  gaol  and  released  all  prisoners.  They  had  a  com- 
pany two  hundred  strong.  Hippolyte  pursued  them. 
They  fled  to  the  mountains  and  then  many  refugees 
made  a  dash  for  the  British  Consul's  house  in  the  hills 
and  demanded  protection  of  Tweedie.  Tweedie  told 
them  he  could  not  protect  them,  as  his  flag  was  down 
town.  While  they  were  pleading,  up  came  Hippolyte's 
army,  commanded  by  his  son,  who  died  of  apoplexy  be- 
fore I  left  Hayti.  The  army  demanded  the  refugees. 
Tweedie  would  not  deliver  them  up,  and  said  that  if  Hip- 
polyte's army  touched  them  he  would  get  a  man-of-war 
from  Port  Royal  and  blow  Port  au  Prince  into  South 
America,  if  necessary.  The  army  that  had  marched  up 
the  hill  saluted  and  marched  down  again.  Tweedie  fed 
the  refugees  on  biscuits  and  they  snapped  them  up  like 
hungry  dogs. 

"  The  Government  did  not  feed  prisoners  in  gaol  in 
those  times.  If  friends  did  not  feed  them  or  give  them 
money,  or  if  it  was  not  for  a  charity  fund,  they  would  get 
no  food.  The  gaol  was  awful.  But  there  was  no  other 
place  for  Davidson.  I  stopped  at  the  Central  Union 
Hotel  in  Port  au  Prince.  Newspaper  correspondents 
were  there,  recently  arrived  from  the  scene  of  fighting  in 
the  insurrection.  I  met  Dick  Crain  there.  He  is  a  brother 
of  T.  C.  T.  Crain,  formerly  City  Chamberlain  of  New 
York.  He  went  there  to  build  a  belt  line  around  the 
city,  and  had  started  a  livery  stable  with  New  York  car- 
riages and  native  horses  and  made  a  fortune  out  of  his 
ventures.     Dick  drove  us  all  around  that  part  of  Hayti. 


358     MEMOIRS  OF  A  GREAT  DETECTIVE 

"  I  remember  on  one  of  our  drives  out  into  the  country 
it  was  wash-day.  The  natives  go  naked  in  parts  of  Hayti. 
We  were  driving  across  a  bridge  over  a  broad  stream 
when  we  happened  to  look  down  and  there  were  at  least 
two  hundred  and  fifty  females  washing  clothes.  We' 
were  the  curiosity,  for  we  had  clothes  on.  We  stopped 
on  the  bridge  and  threw  silver  coins  into  the  water.  The 
females  with  one  accord  abandoned  their  washing  and 
began  diving  for  the  coins.  They  reminded  me  of  a 
school  of  porpoises. 

"  Harry  Coon,  a  negro  who  worked  for  Crain  and  who 
had  been  in  the  States,  took  quite  a  liking  to  me  and  was 
eager  to  be  of  service.  He  knew  of  my  prisoner  and  my 
anxiety  that  he  should  not  escape.  One  evening  Harry 
Coon  brought  up  one  of  the  coon  guard  at  the  gaol  to 
see  me.  He  called  me  out  mysteriously  and  led  me 
aside. 

"  '  Yo'  know  yo'  man  Davidson  ?  '  said  Harry  Coon. 

"  '  Yes,  has  he  escaped  ?  '  I  asked  anxiously. 

"  '  No,  but  I  tell  yo',  Mr.  Murray,  if  this  fellow  of  yours 
is  much  of  a  bother  this  yere  man  is  a  paticklar  friend  of 
mine  and  he'll  shoot  him  for  a  couple  of  dollars,'  said 
Harry  Coon. 

" '  Oh,  my  God,  no  ! '  said  I.     '  You'll  all  get  hung.' 

"  Harry  Coon  repeated  this  to  his  coon  soldier 
friend. 

" '  I'll  shoot  him  for  #1.50/  said  the  coon  soldier,  with 
a  generous  smile. 

"  I  shook  my  head.  Harry  and  the  darky  guard  con- 
ferred. 

" '  He  says  because  you  are  my  friend  and  because  him 
and  me  like  you,  we'll  jes'  do  the  job  fo'  fifty  cents,'  said 
Harry. 

" '  But  I  don't  want  it  done  at  all,'  said  I,  and  I  em- 
phasised it. 

"  The  two  darkies  conferred  again.  Then  the  coon 
soldier  walked  away  crestfallen.  Harry  shook  his  head 
sadly  as  he  went. 

" '  'Deed,  Mistah  Murray,  yo'  won't  get  it  done  no 
cheaper,  an'  mo'over,  my  paticklar  friend  is  the  patick- 


TOUR  OF  CHARLES  HILTON  DAVIDSON     359 

larest  best  shot  in  the  army/  said  Harry.  '  His  bullets 
don't  mulitate.     Dey  jes'  kills.' 

"  I  had  to  remain  in  Port  au  Prince  two  weeks,  wait- 
ing for  a  steamer  to  Jamaica.  At  length  the  Atlas  liner, 
Ardine,  arrived,  bound  for  Jamaica,  and  on  January  29th 
I  sailed  on  her,  Davidson  rejoicing  to  be  out  of  the  Port 
au  Prince  gaol.  The  Ardine  called  at  Gonavis.  Sharks 
swarmed  in  the  bay.  The  ship's  mate  and  I  amused 
ourselves  harpooning  them.  He  got  one  of  the  largest 
specimens  ever  seen  in  the  bay.  They  swam  close 
around  the  steamer,  snapping  voraciously  at  any  scraps 
thrown  overboard.  The  Ardine  stopped  also  at  Jaremia 
for  a  coffee  cargo,  and  at  the  Island  of  Niassa  for  mails 
from  the  New  York  steamers.  It  reminded  me  of  the 
West  Indies  sailings  of  my  youth.  We  arrived  at  Ja- 
maica early  in  February,  and  I  placed  Davidson  at  last 
in  a  gaol,  from  which  I  had  an  all-British  route  back  to 
Canada  by  way  of  England.  I  did  not  dare  to  take  the 
prisoner  over  the  shorter  route  by  way  of  New  York,  for 
if  he  set  foot  in  the  United  States  I  would  lose  him  on 
his  demand  to  be  released,  because  he  had  not  been  ex- 
tradited from  that  country.  The  Royal  Mail  steamer 
sailed  for  Southampton  on  February  8th,  and  when  she 
cast  clear  of  Jamaica,  Davidson  and  I  were  aboard,  bound 
for  England.  We  arrived  at  Southampton  on  February 
23d,  and  I  went  direct  to  London  with  my  prisoner. 

"  Two  Scotland  Yard  officers  met  me  at  Waterloo 
Station,  London.  Superintendent  John  Schore  was 
head  of  Scotland  Yard  at  that  time. 

" '  Have  you  papers  to  hold  your  prisoner  in  England, 
Murray  ? '  he  asked. 

"  I  produced  the  Warrant  of  Recipias,  signed  by  the 
Governor-General  of  Canada. 

" «  They  won't  keep  your  prisoner  on  that  here,'  said 
Schore. 

"  We  went  to  the  Home  Office  and  saw  the  Secretary. 
He  told  us  we  could  not  hold  the  prisoner  longer  than 
one  night.  The  next  day  we  went  to  the  Colonial  Office, 
and  after  a  lot  of  red  tape  I  saw  the  Colonial  Secretary. 
He  told  us  the  same  thing,  that  we  could  hold  the  pris- 


360     MEMOIRS  OF  A  GREAT  DETECTIVE 

oner  one  night  and  no  longer.  We  went  to  see  Sir  John 
Bridge,  Chief  Magistrate  of  London,  in  regard  to  the 
possibility  of  a  writ  of  habeas  corpus.  He  said  the  law 
would  be  different  for  a  prisoner  extradited  from  one  Brit- 
ish colony  to  another,  but  when  extradited  from  another 
country  to  an  English  colony,  a  prisoner  could  be  held 
in  England  only  one  night.  We  went  to  see  Colo- 
nel Lemont,  Governor  of  Holywell ;  he  took  a  similar 
view.  There  was  only  one  thing  left.  I  applied  to  Sir 
Charles  Tupper,  High  Commissioner  of  Canada.  I  had 
argued  against  the  Home  Secretary,  the  Colonial  Secre- 
tary, the  Chief  Magistrate,  and  the  Governor  of  the 
prison.  I  was  prepared  to  argue  it  out  with  Sir  Charles 
Tupper.  When  I  stated  my  case  to  Sir  Charles  Tupper, 
he  said  I  was  right,  and  he  called  for  his  carriage  and  we 
drove  to  the  Home  Office.  He  argued  the  matter  with 
the  Home  Secretary  and  with  the  Colonial  Secretary. 
Both  decided  against  him.  There  was  no  steamer  to 
Canada  for  a  week. 

"  As  we  drove  away  from  the  Colonial  Office,  Sir 
Charles  Tupper  sat  back  in  the  carriage  in  silence.  At 
length  he  looked  at  me  and  smiled. 

"  '  There  is  not  a  prison  in  England  that  will  refuse  to 
keep  your  prisoner  one  night,'  said  Sir  Charles.  '  You 
might  tramp  with  him  from  prison  to  prison,  and  there 
are  plenty  of  prisons  to  last  until  the  next  steamer  sails 
from  Liverpool.  But  I  would  advise  you  to  go  to  Liver- 
pool with  your  prisoner.  You  might  say  the  gaol  was 
very  dirty  and  that  you  were  reluctant  to  have  him  un- 
dergo the  hardships  of  incarceration  in  it,  and  that  you 
preferred,  for  his  sake,  to  keep  him  outside  the  gaol. 
Then  hire  a  man  to  guard  him  outside  the  gaol.  I  think 
the  prisoner  will  be  pleased.' 

"  Sir  Charles  Tupper  had  solved  the  dilemma.  Schore 
telegraphed  to  Liverpool  and  Chief  Inspector  McConkey 
met  me.  The  objection  raised  in  London  was  not  raised 
in  Liverpool.  I  had  Davidson  in  good  hands  in  Liver- 
pool. I  cabled  home  from  Liverpool  for  ^"ioo.  They 
cabled  it  to  the  Bank  of  Scotland.  I  received  the  advice 
but  not  the  cheque.     It  seems  that  a  superannuated  de- 


TOUR  OF  CHARLES  HILTON  DAVIDSON     361 

tective,  John  Murray,  who  had  bought  a  home  in  the 
country,  received  a  cheque  for  £100  from  the  Dominion 
of  Canada  through  the  Bank  of  Scotland  and  was  de- 
lighted over  his  good  fortune,  although  at  a  loss  to  know 
what  he  ever  had  done  for  the  Dominion  of  Canada  that 
it  should  send  him  $500.  One  of  the  inspectors  took  me 
to  the  bank  and  they  drew  another  cheque  and  stopped 
payment  on  the  first  cheque.  The  superannuated  de- 
tective said  he  knew  it  was  too  good  to  be  true  when  he 
first  saw  the  £100  cheque. 

"  I  sailed  from  Liverpool  with  Davidson  on  the  Sarnia 
on  March  2d.  Aboard  ship  Davidson  gave  a  number  of 
musical  entertainments.  All  was  going  well,  and  I  was 
congratulating  myself  that  at  last  all  was  smooth  sailing 
with  my  prisoner,  when,  on  March  nth,  the  Sarnia1  s 
after  crank  shaft  in  the  bearings  broke  just  abaft  the  en- 
gine. We  drifted  for  days.  The  delay  was  prolonged  by 
the  great  difficulty  in  getting  the  couplings  connected  in 
order  to  change  the  forward  crank  to  the  place  of  the 
after  crank  shaft.  When  the  repairs  were  finished  the 
Sarnia  was  about  sixty  miles  from  St.  Pierre.  On  March 
1 6th,  the  fifth  day  after  the  accident,  we  struck  a  terrific 
hurricane,  the  wind  blowing  eighty-five  miles  an  hour 
and  the  sea  running  mighty  high.  It  was  the  severest 
storm  I  ever  had  seen,  and  in  my  youth  I  had  known 
some  sturdy  ones.  Luckily  the  Saruia's  break  had  been 
repaired,  and  instead  of  lying  helpless  in  the  trough  of 
the  sea  for  the  hurricane  to  send  us  to  Davy  Jones's 
Locker,  we  jogged  along  about  eight  miles  an  hour.  The 
coal  tank  steamer  America  and  the  Matiranda,  of  Pictou, 
bound  for  Halifax,  spoke  us  and  stood  by  for  some  time, 
but  we  made  our  repairs  and  declined  assistance.  The 
musical  treats  by  Davidson  were  a  godsend  during  these 
days  of  drifting. 

"On  March  19th,  at  half-past  ten  in  the  evening,  we 
saw  the  lights  of  Halifax.  Three  days  later,  on  March 
22d,  1893,  I  handed  Davidson  over  to  the  authorities  in 
Milton  gaol.  He  received  a  speedy  trial  before  Judge 
Snyder,  now  judge  in  Hamilton.  W.  Laidlaw  prosecuted 
and  Davidson  was  defended  by  Wallace  Nesbitt,  now  one 


362     MEMOIRS]OF  A  GREAT  DETECTIVE 

of  the  judges  of  the  Supreme  Court.     He   was  sent  to 
Kingston  Penitentiary  for  five  years. 

"  I  had  set  out  on  November  8th,  1892,  and  I  returned 
with  my  man  on  March  22d,  1893.  It  was  over  four 
months  and  I  travelled  over  20,000  miles.  But  Davidson 
was  brought  back  and  was  punished,  and  the  case  of  this 
organist  and  nurseryman  who  turned  forger,  then  fugi- 
tive, all  in  vain,  served  as  a  valuable  deterrent  and  a  con- 
spicuous example.  Davidson  is  one  of  those  temperate 
zone  folk  who  abhor  the  gaols  of  the  tropics  and  call 
them  hell-holes.  Apart  from  the  gaols  he  was  seasick 
all  the  time." 


LVII 

OVER  THE  ANDES  FOR  AITKEN 

Long  as  was  the  journey  after  Davidson,  a  still  longer 
chase  was  in  store  for  Murray.  The  man  sought  was  a 
festive  pianist  instead  of  a  pious  organist.  His  name 
was  Henry  Charles  Aitken.  He  was  a  private  banker  in 
Tottenham,  Ontario,  until  he  disappeared,  having  cleaned 
out  his  vaults  and  placed  $90,000  or  more  of  worthless 
paper  in  the  Bank  of  Hamilton.  Murray's  chase  led  him 
past  Mexico,  across  the  Isthmus  of  Panama,  down  the 
west  coast  of  South  America,  through  Ecuador,  Bolivia, 
Peru,  and  Chili,  across  the  Andes  Mountains  on  mule- 
back,  through  the  Argentine  Republic,  down  the  Rio 
Plata  to  Montevideo,  and  thence  past  the  harbour  of 
Rio  Janeiro,  Brazil,  thence  to  Germany,  back  to  New 
York,  and  home  to  Canada. 

"  Aitken  came  of  good  family,"  says  Murray.  "  His 
father  was  a  well-known  Hamilton  physician  years  ago. 
He  trained  his  son  for  a  banker.  Aitken  was  employed 
for  some  years  in  the  head  office  of  the  Bank  of  Hamil- 
ton, and  later  was  appointed  manager  of  the  branch  at 
Tottenham.  When  this  branch  bank  closed,  Aitken 
took  over  the  business  and  opened  a  private  bank,  notes 


OVER  THE  ANDES  FOR  AITKEN        363 

discounted  by  him  being  rediscounted  by  the  Bank  of 
Hamilton.  He  built  up  a  thriving  business.  He  was  a 
bachelor,  somewhat  reserved,  but  quite  popular.  He  was 
an  accomplished  pianist  and  was  reputed  to  be  an  im- 
promptu composer.  Much  of  his  leisure  he  spent  at  the 
piano.  Like  many  other  business  men  in  Canada,  he 
was  tempted  to  dabble  in  Chicago  stocks,  and  when  the 
market  went  against  him  he  endeavoured  to  retrieve  his 
losses  by  further  investments,  and  when  these  also  proved 
a  loss,  he  used  the  funds  of  depositors  and  finally  resorted 
to  forgery.     He  disappeared  on  August  2d,  1892. 

"  The  Bank  of  Hamilton  sent  an  inspector  to  Totten- 
ham to  examine  Aitken's  books.  Aitken  had  done  what 
he  could  to  save  the  examiner  trouble.  The  night  before 
he  disappeared  he  had  gone  over  the  books  thoroughly. 
Opposite  every  genuine  note  he  had  marked  the  word 
'  good.'  Thus  the  total  of  the  forgeries  was  shown  at 
once.  The  vaults  of  his  private  bank  had  been  emptied. 
Depositors  lost  every  dollar  they  had  entrusted  to  him. 
The  Bank  of  Hamilton  lost  over  $90,000.  Naturally, 
following  so  closely  on  the  Davidson  losses,  the  Bank  of 
Hamilton  was  determined  to  run  Aitken  to  earth,  if  the 
chase  led  thrice  around  the  world.  The  Department 
was  notified  and  I  took  up  the  case.  A  rumour  had  been 
set  afloat  that  Aitken  had  been  seen  at  Burlington  Beach 
on  the  night  of  his  disappearance.  Some  of  his  friends 
attempted  to  establish  the  common  report  that  he  had 
committed  suicide,  and  that  his  body  sometime  would  be 
found  floating  in  the  water.  I  did  not  believe  this  talk. 
When  I  started  after  Davidson,  in  November,  1892,  I 
determined  to  keep  a  lookout  for  trace  of  Aitken.  While 
in  Mexico,  I  met  several  men  travelling  through  South 
America  and  I  told  them  of  Aitken.  I  also  issued  this 
circular : 

'  H.  C.  Aitken — Age,  about  38  years ;  height, 
about  5  feet  9  inches ;  weight,  about  155  or 
160  lb. ;  hair,  darkish  brown,  turning  slightly 
grey ;  wore  hair  pompadour  style ;  moustache 
would  be  lighter  colour  than  hair,  also  turning 


364     MEMOIRS  OF  A  GREAT  DETECTIVE 

grey,  usually  kept  trimmed;  blue  eyes,  full 
face,  straight  nose,  in  cold  weather  inclined  to 
be  red;  fair  complexion;  laughs  in  a  low  key; 
very  prominent  dimple  on  chin,  which  may  be 
covered  with  whiskers ;  while  in  conversation 
strokes  his  chin ;  sometimes  wears  full  beard  or 
goatee ;  when  standing  at  desk  or  counter  goes 
through  motions  as  if  jerking  or  pulling  himself 
together,  crowding  his  elbows  gently  to  his  side 
for  a  moment,  then  slightly  throwing  up  his 
head,  while  at  the  same  time  biting  or  attempt- 
ing to  bite  corners  of  his  moustache  with  his 
lower  lip,  without  any  aid  from  his  hands  ;  neat 
figure ;  slightly  knock-kneed ;  walks  with  toes 
turned  out;  when  walking  strikes  back  part  of 
heel  first ;  quiet  manner,  very  reserved  and  very 
musical ;  will  play  piano  for  long  periods,  com- 
posing as  he  goes  along ;  walks  with  hands  in 
pants  pockets ;  dresses  neatly ;  usually  wears 
sack  coat  and  stiff  hat ;  does  clay  moulding. 
Cut  is  a  fairly  good  likeness  ;  cut  of  signature  is 
a  facsimile  of  his  original  writing.' 

"  A  commercial  traveller,  fresh  from  the  land  of  the 
Incas  had  told  me  in  Mexico  that  Aitken  was  at  Lima, 
Peru.  When  I  returned  from  Mexico  I  took  up  Aitken's 
case  again.  I  prepared  extradition  papers  and  the  De- 
partment of  Justice  communicated  with  the  Rosebery 
Government  in  England  to  use  its  good  offices  to  assist 
me  in  my  hunt.  Later  I  saw  cablegrams  from  Rosebery 
to  British  Ministers  all  over  South  America  in  reference 
to  me.  I  was  aware  that  Aitken  might  leave  Lima  long 
before  I  could  arrive  there.  He  might  come  north  along 
the  west  coast  of  South  America,  or  he  might  head  for 
the  east  coast  if  he  did  not  go  inland  among  the  moun- 
tains.    But  wherever  he  went  I  was  to  find  him. 

"  Accordingly,  Thomas  W.  Wilson,  an  English  gentle- 
man, travelling  on  the  Western  Hemisphere,  sailed  from 
New  York  on  the  City  of  Para  on  Saturday,  September 
30th,  1893.     It  was  not  the  first  time  in  my  life  I  had 


OVER  THE  ANDES  FOR  AITKEN        365 

travelled  as  Wilson.  I  arrived  in  Colon,  Columbia,  on 
Saturday,  October  7th,  one  week  after  leaving  New  York. 
The  canal  a-building,  the  house  of  De  Lesseps,  and  other 
sights  were  interesting.  From  Colon  I  took  a  train  to 
Panama,  crossing  from  the  Atlantic  Ocean  to  the  Pacific 
Ocean.  At  Panama  I  made  inquiries  concerning  Aitken. 
No  one  knew  of  him.  I  had  to  wait  five  days  for  a 
steamer  south.  I  remember  there  a  man  named  Felix 
Hermann.  He  was  the  American  Consul,  a  steamship 
agent,  and  a  banker.  Daily  I  endeavoured  to  buy  a 
ticket  from  him.  But  he  was  of  the  race  known  by  their 
names  and  he  declined  to  sell  me  a  ticket  until  the  day 
the  steamer  came  in,  saying  I  should  wait  and  see  what 
solos,  as  he  called  the  money,  were  worth.  I  suspected 
that  on  steamer  days  solos  advanced  in  value,  but  there 
was  nothing  to  do  except  wait.  On  October  12th  the 
steamer  arrived. 

"  She  was  the  Spanish  steamer  Maipo.  Felix  Her- 
mann had  charged  me  $16  too  much  for  my  ticket,  and 
had  given  me  a  letter  to  the  captain  of  the  steamer,  intro- 
ducing Mr.  Thomas  W.  Wilson.  The  captain  took  the 
letter,  glanced  at  it  and  then  at  me. 

"  '  Wilson  ?  Wilson  ?  '  said  he.  '  Get  out,  Murray  ! 
Don't  you  know  me  ? '  and  he  took  off  his  cap. 

"  I  recognised  him  instantly  as  Louis  Salmers,  a  Dane 
from  Copenhagen,  who  had  been  a  quartermaster  in  the 
United  States  Navy,  and  had  served  with  me  during  part 
of  the  war.  I  knew  I  could  trust  him  absolutely,  and  I 
told  him  of  Aitken.  He  had  heard  nothing  of  him.  I 
sat  on  the  captain's  left  at  table  thereafter  on  the  trip. 
I  was  not  wine-bibbing  in  that  climate,  and  an  old 
Spanish  lady,  who  sat  opposite  me,  noting  the  absence  of 
wine  from  my  meal,  was  distressed  greatly. 

"  '  Unhappy  man  !  '  she  lamented,  in  Spanish.  '  To 
think  he  is  so  poor  he  cannot  afford  wine !  How  very 
poor  he  must  be  ! ' 

"  It  never  occurred  to  the  gentle  old  lady  that  any  one 
willingly  would  forego  wine  at  meals.  She  fretted  and 
fumed  meal  after  meal  and,  finally,  with  a  brave  muster 
of  courage,  she  filled  a  glass  and  held  it  towards  me. 


.'• 


366     MEMOIRS  OF  A  GREAT  DETECTIVE 

"  '  Poco  vino,  senor  ! '  she  said,  beaming  and  nodding 
for  me  to  take  it. 

"  It  touched  her  heart  to  think  any  one  should  be  so 
poor  as  to  have  to  do  without  wine.  When  I  declined 
with  thanks,  she  was  amazed  and  then  flew  into  a  great 
rage  and  cuffed  the  waiter  and  boxed  her  maid's  ears  and 
finally  wept.  Later  she  approached  me  on  deck  with  a 
gauzy  wrap  about  her.  She  smiled  seductively,  and  sud- 
denly drew  from  beneath  the  folds  of  her  wrap  a  glass  of 
wine. 

" '  Poco  vino,  senor  ! '  she  pleaded. 

"  Thereafter  at  every  meal  she  offered  me  wine,  with  a 
plaintive  '  Poco  vino,  senor  ! '  and  when  I  declined  she 
invariably  boxed  her  maid's  ears.  She  could  drink  like 
a  hart  panting  after  a  water  brook. 

"  The  Maipo  arrived  at  Guayaquil,  in  Ecuador,  on 
Monday,  October  16th,  and  lay  there  a  day  for  cargo. 
Yellow  fever  was  raging.  I  went  ashore  and  saw  Captain 
Chambers,  the  British  consul,  but  found  no  trace  of  Ait- 
ken.  People  swarmed  to  the  water-front  to  get  out  of 
the  city.  A  theatrical  troupe  was  there,  and  some  of 
them  jumped  into  the  water  and  tried  to  swim  to  the 
outer  side  of  the  Maipo  to  get  aboard  ahead  of  the  drove 
of  folk  eager  to  jump  the  town.  On  October  18th,  we 
touched  at  Payta,  where  I  saw  the  British  consul,  and 
left  him  circulars  of  Aitken.  I  also  left  a  circular  at 
Passamayo,  in  Ecuador.  There  were  no  docks  in  Passa- 
mayo  or  north  of  Valparaiso,  and  we  anchored  off  shore, 
while  the  steamer  was  surrounded  with  swarms  of  small 
boats  whose  owners  charged  pirate  rates  to  take  you 
ashore.  We  touched  at  Satarvary,  Peru,  on  October  19th, 
and  at  Callao  on  October  20th.  There  was  no  trace  of 
Aitken  at  either  place.  Among  our  passengers  for  Callao 
was  a  Mrs.  Burk,  with  her  two  children,  from  Chicago. 
On  the  way  down  she  told  me  she  had  been  born  in 
Lima,  her  father  being  an  American,  who  had  married  a 
Spanish  lady.  She  left  Lima  when  she  was  six  years  old, 
leaving  her  mother  and  going  to  the  United  States  to  be 
educated.  She  had  stayed  in  the  United  States,  had  mar- 
ried ;  her  husband  died,  and  she  was  on  her  way  back  to 


OVER  THE  ANDES  FOR  AITKEN        367 

the  home  of  her  childhood,  and  was  about  to  see  her 
mother  again,  for  the  first  time  since  she  left  Lima,  a 
child  six  years  old.  I  saw  the  meeting.  The  mother 
could  not  speak  English,  the  daughter  could  not  speak 
Spanish.  Mother  and  daughter  could  not  talk  to  each 
other,  but  they  could  hug  and  caress  each  other  and  cry 
over  each  other  in  sheer  joy.  They  met  on  the  dock  at 
Callao,  and  those  of  the  ship's  passengers  who  did  not 
cry,  cheered. 

"  I  arrived  in  Lima  on  Saturday,  October  21st,  and 
went  to  the  Hotel  de  Francais — Ingleterra.  I  called  on 
Sir  Charles  Mansfield,  the  British  Minister,  who  had  re- 
ceived notice  from  Lord  Rosebery  concerning  the  case. 
Sir  Charles  communicated  at  once  with  the  Peruvian 
Secretary  for  Foreign  Affairs,  and  as  a  result  I  was  put 
in  communication  with  Colonel  Muniz,  Prefect  of  Lima. 
On  advice  of  Sir  Charles  Mansfield  I  went  to  Callao  and 
arranged  for  Vice-Consul  Wilson  to  accompany  me  to 
Lima  and  act  as  interpreter.  The  outcome  of  my  inter- 
view of  the  Peruvian  officials  was  the  issuance  of  an  order 
by  the  Peruvian  Department  of  State  commanding  any  or 
all  officials  in  the  Republic  of  Peru  to  arrest  Aitken.  I 
then  called  on  Manager  Holcomb  at  the  South  American 
branch  of  the  New  York  house  of  William  R.  Grace. 
He  promised  to  assist  me  in  every  way  possible.  When 
he  saw  Aitken's  photograph  he  said  :  '  Your  man  is  here. 
I  have  seen  him  several  times  in  the  street,  and  he  called 
here  looking  for  a  position.'  Holcomb  then  gave  me 
several  letters,  including  one  to  President  Dawkins,  of  the 
Peruvian  Incorporated  Company,  Limited,  an  English- 
man whose  company  had  assumed  the  war  debt  of  the 
Government  and  had  taken  mines,  railroads,  and  lands  as 
security. 

"  Armed  with  these  letters  and  aided  by  Colonel 
Muniz,  I  set  out  to  find  Aitken.  President  Dawkins  told 
me  he  knew  Aitken,  and  had  travelled  on  the  steamer 
with  him  on  one  occasion  from  Callao  to  Mollando.  He 
sent  for  Superintendent  Aikman,  of  the  Peruvian  rail- 
roads, who  recognised  Aitken  from  his  photograph,  and 
said  he  had  seen  him  frequently.     All  of  the  officials  of 


368     MEMOIRS  OF  A  GREAT  DETECTIVE 

the  railroads  were  called  in  the  next  day,  and  when  they 
saw  the  photograph  several  at  once  recognised  it.  Man- 
ager E.  J.  Prew,  of  the  silver  mines  at  Challapa,  told  me 
that  Aitken  had  been  up  to  the  mines  in  the  Andes,  one 
hundred  miles  from  Lima.  Mr.  Evans,  a  street  broker  in 
Lima,  told  me  Aitken  had  called  on  him  day  after  day 
in  reference  to  starting  an  English  school.  At  length 
Aitken  had  told  Evans  he  had  not  met  with  much  suc- 
cess, and  intended  to  go  to  Valparaiso.  I  found  where 
Aitken  had  boarded.     He  was  gone  ;  the  bird  had  flown. 

"  While  in  Lima  on  Wednesday,  November  1st,  I  went 
to  see  the  natives  decorate  the  graves  of  their  dead.  It 
was  a  national  holiday.  The  cemetery  was  one  of  the 
most  beautiful  I  ever  have  seen.  It  was  laid  out  like  a 
city.  The  dead  were  buried  in  vaults  built  above  ground. 
The  cemetery  rose  in  terraces,  ten,  fifteen,  and  twenty 
feet  high.  There  were  fine  marble  fronts  and  less  pre- 
tentious stone  fronts.  There  were  aristocratic  avenues  in 
this  city  of  the  dead,  and  there  were  modest  side  streets. 
In  some  of  the  houses  of  silence  generations  lay  asleep, 
with  the  names  of  the  occupants  carved  in  the  marble  of 
the  front  door.  Each  body  lay  in  a  niche,  with  the  coffin 
sealed. 

"  The  next  day  I  walked  out  of  the  hotel  to  go  to  the 
offices  of  the  Graces.  I  noticed  the  shutters  were  closed 
on  all  places  of  business  and  residences,  that  the  streets 
were  deserted,  and  a  strange  stillness  pervaded  the  city. 
At  Grace's  I  found  the  big  iron  gates  shut.  Manager 
Holcomb  saw  me,  and  had  the  gates  opened  for  me. 

«  <  Why,  Mr.  Murray,  are  you  out  to-day  ?  '  he  said. 

" '  Yes,  it  looks  like  another  holiday,'  said  I. 

" '  We  are  on  the  eve  of  an  insurrection,'  said  he. 

"  I  started  immediately  for  my  hotel.  The  streets  were 
absolutely  deserted — not  a  soul  in  sight,  not  a  living  thing 
to  be  seen.  I  had  gone  but  a  couple  of  blocks  when  the 
roar  of  cannon  shook  the  city ;  then  came  the  rattle  of 
rifle-fire  and  the  sound  of  galloping  horses.  I  ran  for 
the  plaza,  the  shortest  route  to  the  hotel.  The  streets 
were  barricaded.  It  reminded  me  of  what  I  had  read  of 
the  French  Revolution.     Behind  me  came  the  galloping 


OVER  THE  ANDES  FOR  AITKEN        369 

soldiery.  Firing  was  going  on  all  around  me.  Bullets 
went  whining  by.  I  dodged  into  a  doorway  to  escape 
the  charge  of  the  mounted  police.  The  mob  sallied  forth, 
and  the  contending  forces  met  in  the  street  in  front  of  the 
doorway  where  I  stood.  It  was  a  bloody  battle.  The 
police  fought  with  sabres  and  carbines.  The  mob  fought 
with  revolvers,  knives,  clubs,  and  stones.  The  police 
rode  through  them,  cutting  off  groups,  surrounding  them, 
and  dragging  them  away.  One  of  the  groups  was  sur- 
rounded and  ran  to  cover  in  my  doorway.  The  police 
yanked  us  all  out.  I  saw  that  those  who  resisted  fell 
dead  or  wounded,  so  I  stepped  out  obediently,  and  was 
being  dragged  along  with  a  bunch  of  rioters,  when  for- 
tunately Colonel  Muniz,  the  prefect,  spied  me,  and  bade 
two  of  his  men  rescue  me  and  escort  me  to  my  hotel.  I 
thanked  him,  and  he  waved  gaily  to  me  as  he  charged  the 
mob.  I  trotted  along  on  foot  between  two  officers  through 
the  streets  of  Lima,  in  a  roundabout  way  to  the  hotel. 
The  gates  of  the  hotel  were  locked,  and  the  windows  and 
doors  were  barred.  I  shouted  to  open  and  let  me  in. 
They  gave  no  heed.  Suddenly  both  the  officers  roared 
forth  a  command  to  open  in  the  name  of  some  high  of- 
ficial of  Peru.  The  doors  flew  open  like  magic,  the  gates 
swung  wide,  and  I  walked  in,  taking  my  escort  with  me. 
They  drank  my  health,  then  returned  to  the  scene  of  con- 
flict, where  the  guns  were  belching  and  the  fight  was 
raging  amid  cheers  and  groans.  I  sat  all  day  listening  to 
it,  and  rubbing  a  pink  spot  where  the  flat  side  of  a  sabre 
had  smitten  me.  The  real  cause  of  the  rumpus,  I  under- 
stood, was  the  refusal  of  some  office-holders,  voted  out  by 
Congress,  to  surrender  the  offices.  After  a  couple  of 
days  of  fighting  the  offices  were  given  up  peaceably.  It 
was  said  they  picked  up  over  two  hundred  dead  in  the 
streets  after  the  fighting. 

"  When  the  fighting  ceased  I  endeavoured  to  get  trace 
of  Aitken.  I  learned  from  a  steamship  official  that  he 
had  embarked  for  Valparaiso,  with  stop-over  privilege  at 
Iquique.  He  had  sailed  from  Lima  before  I  had  arrived. 
I  determined  to  stop  in  all  the  intermediate  ports,  and 
make  sure  he  had  not  disembarked  in  one  of  them.     On 


370     MEMOIRS  OF  A  GREAT  DETECTIVE 

Sunday,  November  5th,  I  sailed  for  Valparaiso  on  the 
steamer  Pizarro.  I  bore  letters  from  the  Graces'  house 
in  Lima  to  its  Iquique  house.  I  called  at  Pisco,  Mollando, 
Arica,  and  Pisaque.  Aitken  had  not  been  in  any  of 
them.  On  arrival  at  Iquique  I  called  on  the  British 
Consul.  I  learned  that  Aitken,  in  company  with  an- 
other Englishman  supposed  to  be  a  defaulter,  had  stopped 
in  Iquique  while  his  steamer  was  changing  cargo,  and 
had  sailed  for  Valparaiso.  I  left  Iquique  on  the  next 
steamer  for  Valparaiso,  sailing  on  Monday,  November 
13th,  on  the  Imperial.  I  called  at  Cobiga,  Bolivia, 
Autofagasta,  Caldera,  and  Coquimbo ;  but  Aitken  had 
not  appeared  in  any  of  them.  I  arrived  at  Valparaiso  on 
Saturday,  November  18th,  and  conferred  with  the  British 
Consul  and  the  Valparaiso  house  of  Grace  Brothers. 
The  Grace  house  detailed  one  of  its  best  posted  clerks  to 
assist  me.  On  the  fourth  day  I  got  track  of  Aitken  by 
discovering,  in  an  English  cafe,  a  waiter  and  another  per- 
son who  recognised  his  photograph,  and  said  he  had 
taken  his  meals  there  for  a  time,  and  until  shortly  before 
my  arrival. 

"  I  took  train  to  Santiago,  two  hundred  miles  inland 
from  Valparaiso,  on  November  23d,  and  conferred  with 
John  Gordon  Kennedy,  the  British  Minister;  and, 
through  him,  with  the  Minister  of  Foreign  Relations, 
who  directed  me  to  his  deputy,  Senor  Bacanaun.  After 
a  lengthy  conference,  Sehor  Bacanaun  stated  that  his 
Government  would  not  surrender  the  fugitive,  as  there 
was  no  treaty  between  England  and  Chili.  While  willing 
to  reciprocate  and  give  man  for  man,  they  could  not 
hand  over  a  fugitive  without  a  quid  pro  quo.  A  man 
presently  would  be  in  London,  he  said,  whom  the  Chilian 
Government  wanted.  If  the  British  authorities  surren- 
dered this  man,  the  Chilian  Government  might  surrender 
Aitken.  I  cited  the  case  of  Hanson,  alias  Bushnell,  who 
fleeced  the  insurance  companies  in  New  York  and  Chi- 
cago out  of  several  hundred  thousand  dollars,  and  was 
handed  over  to  the  United  States  authorities,  subse- 
quently escaping  from  the  officer  in  whose  custody  he 
was  at  Iquique.     Senor  Bacanaun  replied  that  it  was  the 


OVER  THE  ANDES  FOR  AITKEN        371 

Supreme  Court,  not  the  Department  of  Foreign  Relations, 
that  had  handed  over  Hanson,  and,  he  added,  it  cost  the 
United  States  authorities  $25,000  and  eight  months'  work 
to  secure  his  extradition,  as  he  had  made  many  friends 
during  his  residence  there.  The  Deputy-Minister  of 
Foreign  Relations  further  informed  me  that  he  thought 
it  would  cost  the  Bank  of  Hamilton  fully  $12,000  in  gold 
to  secure  the  return  of  Aitken.  I  listened  gravely,  and 
at  the  close  of  the  interview  I  enlisted  the  services  of 
Marcial  Martnax,  a  great  authority  on  international  law 
in  Chili,  and  I  made  up  my  mind  to  extradite  Aitken  if 
I  could  find  him.  After  my  interview  I  knew  how  to  go 
about  it.  On  December  1st  I  returned  to  Valparaiso. 
From  Santiago  I  learned  Aitken  had  been  there  for  four 
days,  and  then  had  returned  to  Valparaiso.  Among 
those  I  met  in  Santiago  was  Ernest  Carnot,  a  son  of  the 
President  of  France.  Back  in  Valparaiso  I  learned 
Aitken  had  been  stopping  at  Villa  del  Mare  (village  by 
the  sea),  a  watering-place  six  miles  from  the  city.  An 
interpreter  had  seen  him,  and  guided  me  to  his  boarding- 
place.  The  landlord  recognised  the  picture.  Aitken 
had  left  suddenly,  without  taking  all  his  effects.  I  looked 
at  some  of  the  effects.  I  thought  they  might  belong 
to  Aitken.  He  had  left  Valparaiso  before  I  arrived 
there. 

"  Where  had  he  gone  ?  I  learned  that  the  same  after- 
noon he  left  Villa  del  Mare  so  suddenly  he  was  seen  by 
an  employee  of  a  big  South  American  house  at  the  office 
of  the  Pacific  Navigation  Company,  and  a  steamer  had 
sailed  that  afternoon  for  Buenos  Ayres,  Argentine  Re- 
public. It  took  this  steamer  fifteen  days  to  go  by  the 
Straits  of  Magellan  to  Buenos  Ayres.  If  Aitken  had 
sailed  on  this  steamer  he  was  due  in  Buenos  Ayres  in  a 
few  days.  I  could  not  hope  to  overtake  him  by  boat, 
but  there  was  one  way  left.  In  a  week  or  less  I  could 
get  to  Buenos  Ayres  by  going  over  the  Andes  Moun- 
tains, the  Cordilleras.  If  his  steamer  were  a  day  or  two 
late  I  could  be  on  the  dock  to  meet  him.  If  he  had  not 
taken  the  steamer,  but  had  tried  to  cross  the  mountains, 
I  might  overtake  him.     I  decided  to  try  to  cross  the 


372     MEMOIRS  OF  A  GREAT  DETECTIVE 

Andes  Mountains.  I  left  Valparaiso  on  Wednesday, 
December  1 3th,  bound  from  the  Pacific  to  the  Atlantic, 
from  the  west  coast  to  the  east  coast  of  South  America. 
I  set  out  alone. 

"  I  took  train  at  7.40  in  the  morning,  bound  mountain- 
ward,  and  arrived  at  Los  Andes  at  twelve  noon.  There 
was  not  a  soul  there.  I  had  a  letter  from  the  agent  of 
the  Compania  Nacional  de  Transportes  Expreso  Villa- 
longa  viaje  de  Europa  al  Pacifico,  via  Cordillera,  meaning 
the  agent  of  a  mule  concern  to  supply  you  with  a  mount 
over  the  mountains.  At  length,  a  ragged,  lazy  fellow 
appeared,  and  gazed  at  me  and  my  baggage. 

" '  I  see  you  all  right,'  he  said. 

"  It  must  have  been  his  one  bit  of  English,  for  he  re- 
peated it  a  score  of  times,  and  no  matter  what  I  said  he 
answered  invariably :  *  I  see  you  all  right.' 

"  He  certainly  saw  me  all  right,  all  right.  He  went 
away,  and  returned  with  a  carriage,  and  drove  me  to  an 
hotel,  and  left  me  there  after  collecting  a  fat  fee.  I  sat 
there  for  an  hour  and  no  one  appeared.  Then  I  got  a 
hackman,  and  had  my  luggage  taken  back  to  the  station. 
At  the  station  I  found  some  men  making  up  a  little  train 
— a  pony  engine  and  dinky  cars.  I  asked  if  it  went  up 
in  the  mountains.  No  one  answered.  Suddenly  my 
ragged  friend  appeared  as  if  from  nowhere. 

" '  They  see  you  all  right,'  he  said,  and  fled. 

"  I  boarded  this  train,  and  rode  up  to  Salto  del  Soldado, 
a  couple  of  hours  from  Los  Andes.  There  I  alighted, 
and  the  first  man  I  saw  was  Ernest  Carnot,  son  of  Presi- 
dent Carnot  of  France,  and  whom  I  had  met  in  Santiago. 
Young  Carnot  was  a  civil  engineer,  and  a  sturdy,  frank 
fellow,  whom  I  liked  instantly. 

"  '  Glad  to  see  you  again,'  he  said,  shaking  hands. 

" '  Not  half  so  glad  as  I  am  to  see  you,'  said  I. 

"  Carnot  introduced  his  friend,  Maurice  de  Jouliatt, 
from  Paris.  They  were  bound  over  the  mountains.  So 
was  I.     We  would  go  together  ?     Gladly  ! 

"  A  delegation  of  Frenchmen  had  met  Carnot  and  es- 
corted him  to  the  end  of  the  road.  Carnot  knew  how  to 
handle  the  pesky  muleteers,  and  the  guides  jumped  to 


OVER  THE  ANDES  FOR  AITKEN        373 

obey  him.  We  left  Salto  del  Soldado  at  four  o'clock 
that  afternoon  on  mule-back.  My  mule  was  a  drowsy 
little  fellow  with  tremendous  ears,  and  the  tip  of  the  left 
ear  was  missing.  We  rode  to  Posada  Juncal,  where  we 
had  dinner  at  eight  o'clock  in  the  evening,  and  spent  the 
night.  As  I  was  looking  at  the  time  my  watch  fell,  and 
the  left  hind  foot  of  my  lop-eared  mule  smashed  it  to 
bits.  Chilian  currency  was  no  good  beyond  Posada 
Juncal,  and  we  exchanged  some  of  our  money  at  the 
hotel,  where  they  charged  a  quadruple  compound  rate  of 
exchange.  We  arose  at  two  o'clock  in  the  morning.  It 
was  pitch  dark. 

" '  The  guides  say  we  are  to  muffle  up  well  as  we  may 
meet  a  snow-storm,'  said  Carnot. 

"  We  started.  I  could  not  see  my  hand  in  front  of  my 
face.  And  the  road  !  There  was  no  road !  The  mules 
travelled  single  file.  We  went  up,  up,  up,  and  then 
down,  down,  down,  and  then  up,  up,  up,  and  then  down, 
down,  and  then  up,  up,  up,  up,  until  one  moment  I  felt 
above  the  clouds  and  another  moment  in  the  bowels  of 
the  earth.  Carnot  shouted  that  the  guides  said  the  mules 
were  bred  from  Spanish  jacks  and  English  blooded 
mares,  and  could  be  relied  on  implicitly. 

« «  My  guide  says  we  will  bleed  from  the  nose  and 
mouth,  and  so  will  the  mules,  but  not  to  mind  it ! '  gasped 
Carnot. 

"  The  evening  before,  the  guides  had  explained  we 
must  start  early  to  get  beyond  a  point  known  as  Cumbre, 
where  the  wind,  after  a  certain  hour,  blew  a  gale.  Dawn 
came  with  us  plodding  up,  up,  up.  Then  down,  down, 
down  we  went,  winding  in  and  out,  around  corners,  over 
narrow  paths.  The  mules  galloped  where  they  could. 
Going  down  was  the  hardest.  It  was  severe  on  the  legs. 
Moreover,  as  you  looked  down,  far  down,  where  great 
objects  you  had  passed  appeared  as  mere  specks,  it 
scared  you.  We  passed  Cumbre  at  half-past  nine  in  the 
morning,  after  almost  eight  hours  in  the  saddle.  The 
wind  was  howling,  and  it  tore  at  us  until  we  clutched  our 
saddles  and  finally  flung  our  arms  around  the  necks  of 
our  mules.     Carnot  was  bleeding.     My  head  was  dizzy, 


374     MEMOIRS  OF  A  GREAT  DETECTIVE 

and  I  could  hardly  breathe.     We  were  27,000  feet  up, 
said  the  guides.     The  mules  were  bleeding. 

" '  When  he  stop,  no  touch  him,'  gasped  the  guide. 
'  He  go  on  when  he  can.' 

"  We  were  almost  smothered.  Yard  by  yard  we 
plodded  on.  We  passed  Cumbre  after  a  stern  battle,  the 
mules  pausing,  then  moving  on,  low  bent,  straining, 
striving  valiantly.  None  of  us  tried  to  talk.  We  simply 
hung  on.  At  two  o'clock  in  the  afternoon  we  came  to 
Los  Cuevas  Posada.  It  simply  was  a  stone  house,  but  it 
seemed  like  paradise.  We  breakfasted,  and  I  was  about 
to  proffer  gold  in  payment  when  Carnot  said  '  Do  not 
show  gold,'  and  he  paid  the  bills,  we  settling  later  with 
him.  Never  will  I  forget  this  day,  Thursday,  December 
14th.  We  were  in  the  saddle  all  day,  riding  amid  the 
mountains,  with  death  awaiting  a  mule's  misstep,  until 
eight  o'clock  in  the  evening,  when  we  arrived  at  Punta 
de  Vacas,  and  stayed  there  Thursday  night.  An  Argen- 
tine customs  officer  examined  our  baggage  there.  I 
failed  to  tip  him  promptly,  and  he  threw  every  stitch  of 
my  luggage  out  on  the  ground,  scattering  it  right  and 
left.  It  taught  me  a  lesson.  We  slept  on  beds  on  the 
floor  at  Punta  de  Vacas,  and  left  at  eight  o'clock  on 
Friday  morning. 

"  We  rode  for  three  hours,  and  at  half-past  eleven 
reached  Rio  Blanca,  where  we  breakfasted,  and  then 
went  through  in  seven  hours  to  Rio  Mendoza,  where  I 
had  the  last  of  my  Chilian  money  changed  at  forty  per 
cent,  discount.     Everything  is  high  in  the  Andes. 

"  At  Mendoza  I  met  an  American  named  Schister. 
He  came  from  Ohio,  and  was  a  contractor,  and  lived  in 
Buenos  Ayres,  having  married  a  Spanish  lady.  Every 
one  knew  him,  and  he  knew  all  the  foreigners,  particularly 
those  speaking  English,  who  had  been  in  Buenos  Ayres 
in  twenty  years.  So  few  foreigners,  comparatively,  get 
there,  that  a  stranger  is  not  there  a  day  until  he  is  spotted. 
Schister  thought  I  might  be  a  refugee,  and  delicately 
intimated  as  much.     I  did  not  undeceive  him. 

"  We  left  Mendoza  at  half-past  nine  that  night,  three 
hours  after  arriving.     All  day  Saturday  we  were  aboard 


OVER  THE  ANDES  FOR  AITKEN        375 

train.  It  grew  insufferably  hot.  In  the  coach  the 
thermometer  passed  116  degrees.  I  longed  for  a  gust 
from  the  gale  that  swept  around  Cumbre.  We  arrived 
in  Buenos  Ayres  at  nine  o'clock  on  Sunday  morning, 
December  17th.  I  went  to  the  Hotel  de  la  Paise,  and 
early  the  next  morning  I  called  on  Mr.  Packenham,  the 
British  Minister.  I  learned  that  an  extradition  treaty 
was  pending  between  the  English  Government  and  the 
Argentine  Government,  but  as  yet  it  had  not  been  signed 
by  the  President  of  Argentina.  Inspector  Froest,  of 
Scotland  Yard,  was  there  after  Jabez  Spencer  Balfour, 
M.  P.,  the  president  of  the  famous «  Liberator  Company,'  of 
England,  who  fled  after  involving  his  friends  for  many 
millions.  A  flourishing  colony  of  refugees  had  sprung 
up  in  Buenos  Ayres.  Pending  the  ratification  of  the 
treaty  a  number  of  English  refugees  jumped  the  country, 
as  the  English  Government  desired  to  have  a  clause  in 
the  treaty  making  it  retrospective  to  cover  the  case  of 
Balfour ;  and  other  refugees  feared  they  might  be  in- 
cluded. It  was  not  made  retrospective,  yet  they  landed 
Balfour  on  a  petition  to  the  Courts,  based  on  the  comity 
of  nations,  and  the  courts  ordered  his  arrest,  and  he  was 
taken  aboard  an  English  ship. 

"  One  of  the  colony  of  refugees  met  me  on  the  street 
and  shook  hands  with  me  heartily. 

«  <  Well,  Jim  Thurber  ! '  he  exclaimed.  '  When  did 
you  get  in  ?  ' 

" '  You're  mistaken,  sir,'  said  I. 

"  '  It's  all  right,  Jim,'  said  he.  '  We  know  all  about  your 
Boston  job.  You  needn't  deny  it.  You're  all  safe  here. 
As  for  not  being  Thurber,  you  know  me,  and  I've  known 
you  since  boyhood. 

"  I  could  not  dissuade  him.  He  was  positive  I  was 
James  Thurber,  the  Boston  defaulter.  He  took  me 
around  to  the  other  members  of  the  colony.  They  told 
me  Aitken  had  arrived  there,  and  had  been  stopping 
with  a  Mrs.  McGraw.  Among  others  I  saw  was  a 
Canadian,  who  was  known  as  Senor  Don  Enrique  M. 
Read,  who  was  none  other  than  A.  M.  Macrae,  a  fugitive 
from  St.  Catharine's,  Ontario.     He  was  in  the  American 


376     MEMOIRS  OF  A  GREAT  DETECTIVE 

Criterion.  I  also  met  Doc  Minchen,  of  the  United 
States,  and  Tom  O'Brien,  both  of  whom  I  knew.  They 
also  were  refugees  from  justice. 

"  Soon  after  I  saw  Senor  Don  Enrique  M.  Read,  he 
was  on  his  way  out  of  Buenos  Ayres,  thinking  I  was 
after  him,  and  I  was  on  my  way  to  Mrs.  McGraw's 
boarding-house  after  Aitken.  I  showed  Aitken's  photo- 
graph to  her. 

" '  He  had  no  whuskers,'  said  Mrs.  McGraw.  '  But 
that's  the  laddybuck,  the  same  musical  laddybuck,  with 
his  pompydoory  hair  and  his  everlasting  thumping  on 
the  piano.' 

"  '  Where  is  he  now  ? '  I  asked. 

" '  He  sailed  on  the  Margarita  for  Rio  Janeiro,'  said 
Mrs.  McGraw. 

"  It  was  true.  Aitken  had  come  and  gone  ahead  of 
me,  doubtless  hearing  of  the  pending  treaty,  and  fearing 
it  might  be  made  retrospective.  I  knew  he  had  not 
gone  to  the  United  States,  for  there  was  no  line  from 
Buenos  Ayres  to  the  United  States,  and  no  tramp  steamer 
had  left  for  the  States  since  his  arrival.  It  was  Rio 
Janeiro  or  Europe  for  him. 

"  I  looked  up  Macrae,  but  could  not  touch  him  at  that 
time,  as  there  was  no  treaty  and  was  not  likely  to  be  one, 
made  retrospective,  for  some  time  to  come,  if  at  all. 
Macrae  had  been  secretary  and  treasurer  of  the  Security 
Loan  and  Savings  Company  of  St.  Catharine's,  Ontario. 
In  September,  1 891,  he  disappeared  with  about  $30,000 
of  the  company's  money.  I  had  billed  him  as  a  defaulter 
and  absconder  as  follows  : 

'A.  M.  Macrae,  defaulter  and  absconder. 
Description — Age,  about  35  ;  height,  about  5 
feet  7  inches ;  has  a  striding  walk  and  swings 
his  right  arm  when  walking ;  light  moustache 
and  small  side-whiskers  ;  quite  bald-headed,  es- 
pecially on  top  and  behind ;  is  rather  short- 
sighted ;  has  a  fashion  in  addressing  a  person  of 
throwing  his  head  rather  backward  and  contract- 
ing his  eyebrows  when  wearing  eye-glasses. 


OVER  THE  ANDES  FOR  AITKEN        377 

'  His  complexion  is  fair,  clear,  and  rather 
ruddy,  his  accent  is  decidedly  English,  and  is 
that  of  an  educated  and  refined  person.  When 
he  left  St.  Catharine's  he  wore  light  coloured 
clothes  and  stiff  felt  hat ;  he  wore  a  high  all- 
around  collar.' 

"In  1894  after  I  left  Buenos  Ayres,  Macrae  came 
north  to  the  United  States  under  the  name  of  Gourley. 
I  heard  of  him  several  years  later  from  a  druggist  in 
Binghamton,  New  York,  who  formerly  lived  in  Canada. 
As  Gourley  he  went  to  work  for  The  Trotter  and  Pacer,  a 
periodical  relating  to  horses.  I  located  him  in  1897, 
living  in  Mount  Kisco,  near  New  York,  and  he  was  ar- 
rested there  and  was  taken  before  United  States  Commis- 
sioner Shields,  was  extradited,  and  was  brought  back  to 
St.  Catharine's,  where  he  pleaded  guilty  on  August  30th, 
1897  '■>  and  Judge  Collier  sent  him  to  Kingston  Peniten- 
tiary for  four  years. 

"  '  It  might  have  been  worse,'  said  Macrae,  '  but  oh  ! 
four  years  is  such  a  long  time  in  that  place.' 

"  I  thought  of  him  as  the  gay  and  festive  Don  Enrique 
M.  Read  in  the  Criterion  Garden  in  Buenos  Ayres,  back 
in  December,  1893,  when  I  was  looking  for  a  ship  to  Rio 
Janeiro,  Brazil. 

"  A  rebellion  was  raging  in  Brazil  at  that  time.  The 
port  of  Rio  Janeiro  was  closed.  Mr.  Packenham,  the 
British  Minister  at  Buenos  Ayres,  hearing  of  my  efforts 
to  get  a  boat  to  take  me  into  Rio  Janeiro,  advised  me 
strongly  against  it.  He  said  it  was  inadvisable  for  me  to 
try  to  enter  the  port,  as  a  state  of  war  existed,  it  was  the 
hot  time  of  year  there,  the  British  Minister  had  departed, 
and  not  only  was  there  a  blockade,  but  the  yellow 
fever  had  broken  out  and  many  were  dying  daily.  A 
report  came  out  of  Rio  Janeiro  that  Aitken  had  died 
there  of  yellow  fever.  I  hesitated  to  believe  it.  On 
January  1st,  1894,  the  German  steamer  Mnnchcn  sailed 
from  Buenos  Ayres  for  Germany  and,  if  feasible,  would 
stop  at  Rio  Janeiro.  It  was  my  opportunity.  I  sailed 
on  the  Munchen.     We  called  at  Montevideo,  Uruguay, 


378     MEMOIRS  OF  A  GREAT  DETECTIVE 

and  thence  sailed  for  Rio  Janeiro,  but  men-of-war  block- 
aded the  port,  the  war  was  on  and  the  yellow  fever  flag 
was  flying,  so  the  MuncJicn  steamed  on,  and  as  we  sailed 
away  I  gazed  off  toward  the  port  to  where  my  quarry 
had  fled,  and  where  he  was  said  to  be  lying  dead  of  yel- 
low fever.  It  was  hard  to  let  go  of  the  chase,  so  near 
and  yet  so  far. 

"  The  Munchen  arrived  at  Cape  de  Verde  Islands  after 
fourteen  days  and  coaled.  We  crossed  the  equator  at 
12.40  on  the  morning  of  Saturday,  January  13th.  It 
was  a  beautiful  night.  I  brushed  up  on  my  earlier  knowl- 
edge of  navigation  and  kept  the  runs  and  took  the  lati- 
tude and  longitude  daily.  There  were  only  four 
passengers  aboard,  two  doctors  (one  a  Spaniard,  one  an 
Italian),  and  a  gentleman  from  Russia,  and  myself.  We 
played  dominoes  and  muggins  together  and  the  four  of 
us,  Italian,  Spanish,  Russian,  and  English  walked  the 
deck  arm  in  arm,  all  four  talking,  each  in  his  own  lan- 
guage and  none  understanding  a  word  that  another  was 
saying.     I  taught  them  to  bow  profoundly  and  say  : 

" '  Good-morning,  Carrie  ! ' 

"  I  taught  them  also  to  place  one  hand  on  their  heart 
and  exclaim  pathetically  : 

"  '  Have  a  nip  ?  ' 

"There  was  great  satisfaction  in  talking  to  them.  It 
did  not  matter  what  I  said.  They  would  listen  very 
gravely  and  reply  solemnly,  '  Good-morning,  Carrie,'  of 
'  Have  a  nip  ? '  The  chief  engineer  of  the  Munchen, 
Mr.  Schulta,  and  I  became  good  friends.  We  touched 
at  Madeira,  and  on  Thursday,  January  25th,  entered  the 
English  Channel.  We  passed  Flushing  two  days  later, 
and  went  up  the  River  Schelde  to  Antwerp,  arriving  on 
Saturday  evening,  January  27th,  after  grounding  in  the 
river.  I  left  Antwerp  three  days  later  for  Bremerhaven, 
the  port  of  Bremen,  Germany,  and  sailed  for  New  York  on 
the  steamship  Lahn,  of  the  North  German  Lloyd  Line, 
on  Tuesday,  February  6th.  We  passed  Southampton  on 
Wednesday,  and  one  week  later  took  on  a  pilot  on  the 
American  side  of  the  Atlantic.  I  landed  in  New  York 
on  Thursday,  February    15th,  and  arrived  in  Toronto  on 


THE  CASE  OF  PERRY  WEINBERG        379 

Saturday,  February  17th,  1894,  at  7.15  in  the  evening.  I 
had  left  Toronto  on  September  20th,  1893.  I  was  absent 
three  days  short  of  five  months. 

"  I  heard  no  more  of  Aitken.  When  I  think  of  him  I 
think  also  of  the  yellow  fever  port  of  Rio  Janeiro.  Was 
fate  waving  me  away  or  beckoning  me  in  ?  Of  course 
there  are  many  cases  of  mistaken  identity,  but  if  I  was 
mistaken  in   Aitken  I  was  far  from  being  the  only  one." 


LVIII 
THE  CASE  OF  PERRY  WEINBERG 

Perry  Weinberg  was  a  jeweller  and  a  Hebrew.  His 
shop  was  in  King  Street,  Toronto.  He  was  thrifty,  even 
for  a  child  of  Israel.  He  dealt  not  only  with  the  Gen- 
tile ;  his  specialty  was  to  barter  with  the  Jew.  He  would 
buy  or  sell  anything.  During  the  months  Murray  was 
globe-trotting  after  Aitken,  the  wily  Weinberg  was 
gathering  in  shekels  from  confiding  Hebrews,  acting  as  a 
private  banker  for  some,  as  a  borrower  from  others,  and 
as  a  plain  petty  larceny  thief  from  some  of  the  least  sus- 
picious. 

"  It  was  a  case  of  anything  to  get  the  money  with 
Weinberg,"  says  Murray.  "  When  he  had  raked  and 
scraped  together  all  that  he  could  save,  borrow,  or  steal, 
he  vamoosed.  I  had  returned  from  South  America  some 
months  before,  and  the  case  was  reported  to  the  Depart- 
ment. Weinberg's  mother  lived  in  New  York  and 
thither  he  had  fled.  He  was  located  there,  and  before  ex- 
tradition papers  had  been  prepared  he  was  arrested  and 
locked  up.  I  received  a  telegram  announcing  the  arrest, 
and  a  police  friend  informed  me,  in  a  confidential  mes- 
sage, that  Weinberg's  attorneys  probably  would  ask  the 
next  morning  that  the  prisoner  be  admitted  to  bail,  in 
which  case  I  could  prepare  to  bid  farewell  to  Weinberg, 
as  he. probably  would  skip  to  the  Old  World  and  disap- 
pear in  some  out-of-the-way  place  over  there  where  He- 
brews were  plentiful  and  information  would  be  scarce. 


380     MEMOIRS  OF  A  GREAT  DETECTIVE 

"  I  took  the  next  train  for  Buffalo  and  caught  the  New 
York  express.  I  had  to  be  in  New  York  before  court 
opened  in  the  morning  or  I  would  lose  my  man. 

"  The  train  was  on  time,  and  I  walked  into  the  District 
Attorney's  office  in  New  York  an  hour  before  court 
opened.  I  had  a  friend  in  the  office.  I  had  no  extra- 
dition papers,  for  I  had  no  time  to  prepare  them  before 
rushing  to  catch  the  train  from  Toronto.  I  knew  that, 
under  the  law  of  the  State  of  New  York  at  that  time, 
the  District  Attorney  had  forty-eight  hours  in  which  to 
examine  and  approve  the  bail  bonds.  My  friend  was 
aware  of  this. 

"  When  court  opened  Weinberg  was  represented  by 
five  attorneys.  He  was  arraigned  before  a  Justice  of  the 
Supreme  Court  of  the  State,  and  bail  was  offered.  The 
sureties  were  the  prisoner's  mother,  who  offered  property 
in  excess  of  $50,000,  and  a  friend  of  the  mother,  who  of- 
fered property  in  excess  of  $100,000.  Bail  was  fixed  at 
$1,000.  The  District  Attorney's  representative  took  the 
sureties  to  examine  them.  Weinberg  went  back  to  the 
gaol  expecting  to  appear  the  next  day  and  be  released. 
His  liberty  was  worth  far  more  than  $1,000  to  him. 

"  I  immediately  went  before  a  United  States  Com- 
missioner and  swore  out  a  new  warrant,  and  it  was  placed 
in  the  hands  of  a  marshal.  The  next  day  Weinberg  was 
released  on  bail  by  the  State  Court,  and  as  he  walked  out 
he  was  arrested  on  the  new  warrant  and  taken  before  the 
United  States  Commissioner  and  remanded.  He  was  the 
most  surprised  Hebrew  I  ever  saw  when  the  marshal 
took  him.  In  the  meantime  my  papers  arrived,  and  the 
fight  for  Weinberg's  extradition  began.  He  was  wrathful 
over  his  second  arrest. 

" '  Now  I  know  for  why  they  have  so  many  courts,'  he 
angrily  exclaimed  to  me.  '  It  is  so  that  when  I  get  out  of 
one  I  get  into  another.' 

"  '  Sure,'  said  I.  '  If  you  get  out  of  this  one  I  have 
several  more  courts  ready  for  you.' 

"  '  To  think  ! '  said  Weinberg.  '  Yust  to  think  !  And 
I  have  all  that  lovely,  beautiful  bail,  yet  I  stay  in  the 
lockup  yust  the  same.' 


FOUR  BARN  BURNINGS  OF  CHATHAM    381 

"  His  five  lawyers  made  an  able  fight.  But  Weinberg 
was  so  guilty  that  there  was  no  defence.  On  August 
22d  he  was  committed  for  extradition.  Some  of  his 
counsel  immediately  went  to  Washington,  where  a  tran- 
script of  the  proceedings  had  been  sent  preliminary  to  the 
transmission  of  the  warrant  of  surrender  by  the  Depart- 
ment of  State.  One  of  them  sought  to  have  Repre- 
sentative Tim  Campbell  endeavour  to  persuade  the  State 
Department  to  refuse  the  warrant  of  surrender,  on  the 
ground  that  Weinberg  never  before  had  been  charged 
with  crime,  and  that  the  complainant  I  named  in  the  pro- 
ceedings, a  Mrs.  Stein,  was  unworthy  of  belief.  Both  the 
Secretary  of  State  and  Sir  Julian  Pauncefote,  the  British 
Minister,  were  absent  from  Washington  at  the  time.  The 
matter  was  pending  for  some  time,  during  which  the 
Canadian  Government  communicated  with  Sir  Julian 
Pauncefote,  relative  to  the  issuance  of  the  warrant  of  sur- 
render, on  the  ground  that  the  forms  of  the  extradition 
treaty  had  been  complied  with,  and  the  man  properly 
committed  for  extradition. 

"  '  We'll  spend  $50,000  rather  than  see  Weinberg  taken 
back  to  Canada,'  one  of  his  friends  informed  me. 

"  Precisely  one  month  after  Weinberg  had  been  com- 
mitted for  extradition  I  landed  him  in  Toronto,  with 
Detective  Billy  Black,  who  had  accompanied  me  to  New 
York.  The  State  Department  at  Washington  was  unin- 
fluenced by  the  efforts  of  his  friends,  and  the  warrant  of 
surrender  was  issued  as  if  no  such  efforts  had  been  made. 
Weinberg  got  three  years  in  prison.     He  deserved  it." 


LIX 

THE  FOUR  BARN  BURNINGS  OF  CHATHAM 

Four  thrifty  farmers  lived  on  four  adjoining  farms  with 
four  big  barns  all  on  the  same  side  of  the  Chatham  Road, 
in  the  township  of  Chatham,  in  the  county  of  Kent.  Be- 
yond them  lived  a  settlement  of  negroes  who  lolled  and 


382     MEMOIRS  OF  A  GREAT  DETECTIVE 

laughed  through  life,  with  occasional  days  of  labour  as 
hired  hands  on  the  farms  roundabout.  On  the  night  of 
October  15th,  1894,  the  four  barns  were  burned  to  the 
ground. 

"  The  County  Attorney,  Douglas,  immediately  called 
my  attention  to  it,  and  I  went  to  investigate,"  says  Mur- 
ray. "  Many  of  the  country  folk  were  satisfied  the  four 
fires  were  accidental.  I  drove  from  farm  to  farm  and 
learned  that  the  four  fires  had  occurred  about  the  same 
hour,  two  o'clock  in  the  morning.  This  coincidence 
settled  in  my  mind  the  belief  that  the  fires  were  of 
incendiary  origin.  I  inspected  the  premises  closely,  and 
found  fastened  to  the  gate-post  of  each  barnyard  fence  a 
notice,  roughly  scrawled  in  lead  pencil,  on  slips  of  paper 
about  the  size  of  pages  from  a  small  memorandum  book. 
They  were  identical  in  writing  and  read :  '  We  will  burn 
you  out  from  the  Arthur  Road  to  the  Chatham  Road  for 
insults  you  white  trash  gave  our  coloured  folks.' 

"  I  carefully  preserved  these  notices.  It  seemed  strange 
to  me  that  if  negroes  had  fired  the  barns  they  would  have 
left  such  deliberately  made  traces  of  their  identity.  Such 
action  simply  would  have  provoked  further  insults.  The 
notices  looked  like  a  blind  to  me,  a  false  clue  to  cast  sus- 
picion on  the  negroes.  There  had  been  one  or  two  little 
incidents  of  friction  between  whites  and  blacks,  but  there 
was  no  bad  blood  and  no  feeling  to  incite  arson  so  far  as 
I  could  learn. 

"  Beginning  at  the  first  of  the  four  scenes  of  the  fire,  I 
went  over  the  ground  methodically,  foot  by  foot,  within 
a  radius  of  five  hundred  feet  of  the  fire.  Leading  into 
what  had  been  the  door  of  the  first  barn  I  found  foot- 
prints in  the  earth  of  the  barnyard.  I  measured  them 
carefully,  and  covered  them  up  and  marked  them  so  that 
none  would  molest  them.  Then  I  drove  to  the  second 
barn  and  went  over  the  ground  carefully,  and  there  also  I 
found  footprints  leading  to  the  barn.  I  measured  them, 
and  they  tallied  to  a  dot  with  the  footprints  at  the  first 
barn.  I  drove  to  the  third  barn,  and  after  a  long  search 
I  found,  near  a  corner  of  the  barn  where  the  fire  had 
started,  footprints  identical  with  those  at  the  other  two 


FOUR  BARN  BURNINGS  OF  CHATHAM    383 

barns.  Then  I  drove  to  the  fourth  barn,  and  to  my  sur- 
prise I  found  many  such  footprints  around  the  barn.  I 
marked  the  tracks  carefully  and  arranged  to  have  plaster 
casts  made  of  them.  I  was  confident  they  were  the  foot- 
prints of  the  incendiary  and  that  one  man  alone  fired  the 
four  barns.  This  strengthened  me  in  my  belief  that  the 
notices  indicating  negroes  had  fired  the  barns  were  a 
blind. 

"  Nevertheless,  I  visited  the  darky  settlement  and, 
armed  with  the  accurate  measurements  of  the  tracks,  I 
investigated  the  size  of  the  feet  and  shoes  of  the  darkies. 
Not  a  single  foot  or  boot  or  shoe  or  slipper  did  I  find  to 
match  the  footprints. 

"  I  went  again  from  farm  to  farm,  beginning  at  the  one 
where  the  first  fire  broke  out.  Each  farmer  talked  freely, 
answering  all  questions,  telling  of  waking  up  to  find  night 
turned  into  day  with  four  monster  fires  blazing  and 
throwing  showers  of  sparks  skyward,  while  the  country 
for  miles  around  was  illuminated.  The  fourth  farmer, 
Edward  Kehoe,  dwelt  on  the  splendour  of  the  scene. 
When  I  began  to  question  him  as  to  his  idea  of  the 
origin  of  the  fires  he  began  to  curse  the  darkies.  I  stood 
listening  and  thinking  of  the  notices  found  on  the  gate- 
posts. 

"  '  Was  your  barn  insured  ? '  I  asked  casually. 

"  '  You're  not  the  insurance  agent,  too,  are  you  ?  '  he 
answered. 

"  The  tone  of  his  voice  caused  me  to  glance  quickly  at 
him.  In  so  doing  my  eyes  fell  upon  a  pair  of  old  ragged 
boots  he  was  wearing.  The  footprints  had  been  made 
with  comparatively  new  boots  or  newly  soled  boots. 

"  «  Where  are  the  boots  you  wore  this  morning  ? '  I 
asked. 

"  Kehoe  started  as  if  I  had  stuck  a  pin  in  him. 

"  '  These  are  the  boots,'  he  said  shakily. 

"  '  Where  are  the  boots  you  wore  yesterday  ?  '  I  asked. 

"  '  They  were  burned  in  the  barn,'  said  he. 

"  I  told  him  the  first  farmer  wished  to  see  him  about  a 
clue.  He  started  off.  When  he  was  out  of  sight  I  en- 
tered his  house  and  began  a  search  for  the  boots.     I  could 


384     MEMOIRS  OF  A  GREAT  DETECTIVE 

not  find  them.  As  I  rummaged  in  out-of-the-way  nooks 
and  corners,  I  came  upon  a  small  memorandum  book,  a 
milkman's  book.  I  opened  it,  and  instantly  the  pages 
reminded  me  of  the  notices  found  on  the  gate-posts. 
There  was  writing  on  some  of  the  pages.  I  took  out  the 
notices  and  compared  them.  The  hand  that  wrote  in  the 
book  also  wrote  the  notices.  Page  by  page  I  turned  the 
book  from  cover  to  cover.  Pages  were  missing.  I  in- 
serted the  four  notices.  They  fitted,  even  to  the  irregu- 
larities in  the  edges.  They  had  been  torn  out  of  the 
book. 

"  I  hunted  anew  for  the  boots.  I  could  find  no  trace 
of  them.  An  idea  came  to  me.  I  went  out  and  looked 
at  a  field  where  wheat  had  been  sown.  A  farmer  near 
by  told  me  Kehoe  had  sown  it.  I  went  down  to  the 
field.  There  were  the  tracks  of  the  sower  marked  in  the 
soil.  I  measured  them.  They  matched  the  footprints 
leading  into  Marshall's  barn,  one  of  the  four  that  had 
been  fired.  They  were  the  footprints  of  Kehoe.  My 
case  was  complete. 

"  I  started  down  the  road,  driving.  I  met  Kehoe  com- 
ing back  afoot.     He  was  passing  me  by  without  speaking. 

"  <  Hold  on  ! '  I  called. 

"  '  What  do  you  want  ?  '  he  growled. 

" '  Whose  field  is  that  ? '  I  asked. 

"  '  Mine  ! '  said  he. 

"  '  Who  sowed  it  ?  ' 

" '  I  did,  every  foot  of  it,'  said  he. 

"  '  Thank  you,'  said  I.  '  Now  if  you  will  get  in  I  will 
drive  you  to  Chatham  gaol  and  lock  you  up.' 

"  He  quailed,  but  laughed  and  told  me  not  to  crack  any 
more  jokes  like  that. 

" '  I  mean  every  word  of  it,'  said  I  sternly.  «  Come 
here  and  get  in.' 

"  He  obeyed,  and  I  took  him  to  Chatham  and  locked 
him  up.  I  spent  days  hunting  for  those  boots.  I  never 
found  them.  Kehoe  must  have  buried  them.  He  was 
tried  for  arson,  and  was  convicted  and  sent  to  Kingston 
Penitentiary  for  seven  years.  He  had  insured  his  barn 
heavily  and  I  guess  he  needed  the  money.     He  claimed 


ALMEDA  CHATTELLE,  THE  HAIRY  MAN    385 

falsely  that  thirty-five  acres  of  his  farm  had  been  planted 
with  peas.  I  rooted  for  the  boots,  but  they  seemed  to 
have  walked  off  the  earth.  If  Kehoe  burned  them  he 
must  have  thrown  them  into  his  own  burning  barn  and 
then  walked  barefooted  on  the  air  to  leave  no  tracks. 
But  if  he  buried  them  may  their  soles  rest  in  peace." 


LX 

ALMEDA  CHATTELLE,  THE  HAIRY  MAN 

Chunks  of  a  human  body  were  found  in  a  clump  of 
woods  near  Listowel,  in  the  county  of  Perth,  on  Friday, 
October  19th,  1894.  They  were  fitted  together  and 
proved  to  be  about  two-thirds  of  the  remains  of  a  beau- 
tiful young  girl.  They  had  been  found  by  searchers 
hunting  for  trace  of  Jessie  Keith,  the  fourteen-year-old 
daughter  of  respectable  country  folk  living  three  miles 
out  of  Listowel.  Jessie  had  started  in  the  morning  for 
Listowel  to  get  some  groceries. 

"  Hours  passed  and  she  did  not  return,"  says  Murray. 
"  Her  parents  investigated  and  learned  she  had  not  ar- 
rived at  the  grocery.  Searching  parties  were  organised 
and  they  divided  the  country  into  sections.  The  party 
hunting  beyond  the  Keith  home  came  upon  the  pieces  of 
a  body  lying  in  the  woods.  Newly  turned  earth  showed 
them  where  parts  had  been  buried.  Other  portions  were 
spread  out  while  others  had  been  tossed  into  the  brush. 
Tightly  wrapped  around  the  neck  was  a  white  petticoat, 
soaked  crimson.  The  head  was  uncovered  and  the  pretty 
face  of  Jessie  Keith  was  revealed.  The  girl  had  been 
disembowelled  and  carved  into  pieces.  The  Department 
was  notified  instantly  and  I  hastened  to  Listowel.  I 
found  the  folk  greatly  excited. 

"  Bands  of  men  were  scouring  the  country  calling  upon 
every  man  they  met  to  give  an  account  of  himself  and 
prove  he  was  not  near  Elm  Bush,  the  dense  woods  where 
the  body  had  been  found.  One  of  the  searching  parties 
met  a  man  beyond  Listowel,  and  as  he  was  a  stranger  to 


386     MEMOIRS  OF  A  GREAT  DETECTIVE 

them  they  led  him  back  and  sternly  bade  him  tell  whence 
he  came  and  by  what  road.  The  fellow  answered  frankly 
that  he  had  been  working  near  Ailsa  Craig  and  was  on 
his  way  to  another  job.  They  had  been  ready  to  deal 
severely  with  him  but  when  he  told  his  straightforward 
story  they  felt  that  they  had  wronged  him  and  they  took 
up  a  collection  for  him,  and  released  him  to  go  his  way. 
I  heard  of  this  and  started  immediately  to  get  the  fellow 
and  have  a  talk  with  him,  but  he  was  gone.  I  tele- 
graphed all  over  the  country  to  keep  a  lookout  for  him 
and  striking  his  trail  on  the  road  he  had  taken,  I  drove 
night  and  day  for  two  days  to  overtake  him.  He  went 
through  Wallace  township,  then  north  to  Palmerston, 
stole  a  ride  on  a  freight  train,  was  seen  the  next  morning 
at  six  o'clock  in  Peel  township,  county  of  Wellington, 
twenty-six  miles  from  Listowel.  He  was  travelling  afoot 
on  the  gravel  road  from  Guelph  to  Port  Elgin,  where 
Charles  Quinn  gave  him  breakfast.  From  Guelph  he 
went  to  Erin,  known  also  as  Cataract  Station,  forty-four 
miles  from  Listowel.  My  telegram  had  preceded  him. 
He  was  heading  for  the  United  States  when  he  was  ar- 
rested and  taken  to  Stratford  gaol. 

"  When  I  looked  at  him  he  reminded  me  of  a  gorilla. 
He  was  as  hairy  as  Esau.  As  I  studied  him  he  seemed 
to  look  less  like  a  gorilla  and  more  like  a  donkey.  He 
had  huge  ears  and  his  face  actually  resembled  the  features 
of  a  jackass.  He  was  very  dark.  He  was  not  tall,  but 
was  broad  and  powerful,  being  under  medium  height,  yet 
weighing  one  hundred  and  ninety  pounds.  He  wore  a 
woman's  knitted  jacket  that  had  been  stretched  to  burst- 
ing to  cover  his  bulging  muscles.  On  the  back  of  his 
head  was  tilted  a  Glengarry  cap.  He  walked  with  the 
peculiar  swaying  motion  of  a  baboon  when  it  rises  on  its 
hind  legs  and  toddles  across  its  cage.  In  fact,  if  the  wild 
man  of  Borneo  had  been  clipped  close  as  to  his  hair,  he 
would  have  been  mistaken  for  this  fellow's  twin  brother. 
He  had  a  knife.  I  looked  at  it.  There  were  stains  on  it 
— blood  stains.  He  tallied  exactly  to  the  description 
given  by  Robert  Morris,  a  neighbour  of  the  Keiths,  of  a 
man  he  saw  on  the  morning  of  the  butchery  walking  to- 


ALMEDA  CHATTELLE,  THE  HAIRY  MAN    387 

wards  the  scene  of  the  crime  and  within  a  mile  of  the 
bush.  The  man  seen  by  Morris  had  carried  a  little  valise. 
A  small  satchel  had  been  found  hid  in  the  bush,  near  the 
pieces  of  the  body. 

" '  What  is  your  name  ? '  I  asked  this  hairy  man. 

"  '  Almeda  Chattelle,'  said  he. 

"  His  voice  was  soft  and  low  and  sweet,  a  gentle  voice. 
I  was  astonished.     He  spoke  as  a  gentleman. 

" '  Be  seated,'  said  I. 

"  We  sat  down. 

"  '  Where  is  your  home  ?  '  I  asked. 

" '  In  Lower  Canada,'  said  he.  '  That  is,  I  was  born 
there.  The  world  is  my  home.  But  I  spent  my  boy- 
hood near  St.  Hyacinthe,  in  the  Province  of  Quebec.  I 
have  travelled  some.  I  sailed  out  of  Boston,  and  I  know 
the  West  Indies  well.' 

"  He  spoke  almost  sorrowfully.  He  hesitated,  looked 
up  half  timidly  and  smiled. 

" '  I  was  in  a  lunatic  asylum  in  Massachusetts  for  a 
time,'  he  said.  '  They  sent  me  there  from  Boston.  I 
thought  there  was  no  need  to  do  it.  After  they  had  me 
there  for  some  time  they  said  I  was  all  right  and  they  let 
me  go.  I  agreed  with  them,  and  I  think  I  am  all  right 
now.' 

"  I  then  went  over  his  movements  step  by  step  before 
and  after  the  crime. 

"  '  Chattelle,'  I  repeated, '  you  were  walking  near  Lis- 
towel  on  Friday  and  you  met  a  little  girl.' 

"  The  hairy  man  looked  at  me  wistfully. 

" '  Yes,  mister,  I  did,'  he  answered  as  simply  as  a  little 
child. 

"  '  What  did  you  do  ? ' 

" '  I  grabbed  her  around  the  waist  and  carried  her  to 
the  woods,'  he  answered,  all  the  while  looking  at  me  as 
a  dog  would  look  at  a  man  it  liked.  '  She  screamed  and 
dug  her  heels  into  the  ground,  so  I  tied  a  white  skirt 
around  her  neck.  She  still  struggled,  so  I  took  out  my 
knife  and  I  cut  her  across  this  way  and  then  down  this 
way,  and  I  threw  away  the  parts  of  her  I  did  not  wish, 
and  the  parts  I  liked  I  treated  considerately,  and  later  I 


388     MEMOIRS  OF  A  GREAT  DETECTIVE 

buried  them  under  a  tree.  I  was  not  unkind  to  the  parts 
I  liked.' 

"  The  hairy  man  told  this  horrible  tale  of  butchery  in 
a  gentle,  tender  voice,  illustrating  on  his  own  body  how 
he  had  carved  and  hacked  the  body  of  the  young  girl. 

" '  You  see,'  he  continued,  « I  had  stopped  at  a  house 
farther  back  on  the  road  and  a  red-haired  girl  gave  me  a 
handout.  I  was  all  right  until  I  met  the  red-haired  girl. 
I  looked  at  her  red  hair  and  then  I  went  away,  and  when 
I  met  the  pretty  little  girl  it  all  came  over  me  like  a  flash 
and  I  just  grabbed  her  and  carried  her  across  the  fields  to 
the  woods  and  cut  her  up.  I  do  not  think  I  was  right 
just  then,  although  I  was  all  right  before  it,  and  I  am  all 
right  now,  and  I  remember  all  that  I  did.' 

"  The  hairy  man  paused  and  his  eyes  sought  mine. 

"  '  I  am  very  sorry,'  he  said  softly.  « I  know  it  is  too 
late  to  be  sorry,  but  I  am  very  sorry.  I  got  sorry  at 
once,  and  I  was  trying  to  get  to  the  other  side.  I  was 
starting  for  Niagara  Falls  when  they  caught  me  and  took 
me  back ;  but  they  accused  me  of  it,  so  I  lied  to  them 
and  they  believed  me  and  gave  me  money  and  let  me  go.' 

"  I  looked  at  Almeda  Chattelle,  the  hairy  man.  I 
looked  at  the  big,  gentle  eyes,  at  the  huge  hands  that 
had  torn  the  child  to  pieces.  He  waited  patiently  for 
me  to  speak.  I  stepped  to  the  door  and  sent  for  the 
County  Attorney,  who  came  in,  and  to  him  Chattelle 
repeated  his  confession.  His  memory  was  perfect  as  to 
every  detail. 

"  I  set  out  to  prove  the  crime  against  him  precisely  as 
if  he  never  had  confessed.  I  took  the  woman's  knitted 
jacket  that  he  wore  and  the  white  skirt  found  wrapped 
around  the  young  girl's  neck  and  tl;  e  valise  found  hid  in 
the  bush,  and  I  undertook  to  find  their  owner  or  owners. 
I  knew  the  house  of  Donald  McLeod  at  Ailsa  Craig  had 
been  robbed  on  Tuesday,  October  2d.  A  valise  and 
other  property  had  been  taken.  I  telegraphed  for  Mrs. 
McLeod  and  she  came  to  the  gaol.  She  looked  at 
Almeda  Chattelle  and  said  at  once  that  she  had  seen 
him  before,  that  he  had  dug  a  cellar  for  a  new  house 
near  Ailsa  Craig.     I  showed  to  her  the  valise,  the  jacket, 


ALMEDA  CHATTELLE,  THE  HAIRY  MAN    389 

and  the  skirt.  She  identified  them  all  as  property  stolen 
from  her  home.  She  pointed  out  also  the  Glengarry 
cap  that  the  hairy  man  wore  and  said  it,  too,  had  been 
stolen  from  her  house. 

"  '  Yes,  I  stole  the  valise  and  what  was  in  it,'  said  the 
hairy  man  to  me. 

"  Robert  Morris  and  others  proved  Almeda  Chattelle 
was  going  to  the  bush  and  later  was  coming  from  the 
bush  where  the  crime  was  committed. 

"  I  took  Almeda  Chattelle  to  Listowel  on  October  25th, 
and  he  was  held  for  trial.  Stones  were  pelted  through 
the  windows  of  the  place  where  I  had  him.  One  of  the 
stones  struck  the  hairy  man. 

" '  If  they  are  going  to  hang  me,  why  do  they  not 
hang  me  now  ?  '  he  said.  '  I'd  rather  be  hanged  to  death 
than  stoned  to  death  ! ' 

"  I  knew  that  some  of  the  enraged  people  were  aroused 
and  that  a  crowd  might  try  to  lynch  Almeda  Chattelle. 
Sure  enough,  a  crowd  began  to  gather  in  the  evening. 
They  had  a  rope.  A  train  left  for  Stratford  at  10.25  that 
night.  I  had  a  carriage  drive  to  the  door  just  before 
train  time  and  I  jumped  into  it  with  the  hairy  man,  and 
we  were  off  at  a  gallop  for  the  station.  I  had  him  out 
of  the  carriage  and  into  the  rear  car  before  the  crowd 
could  get  at  him.  Some  of  them  sprang  up  to  uncouple 
the  car.  I  told  the  hairy  man  to  get  down  between  the 
seats  if  there  was  trouble,  and  then  I  stepped  out  on  the 
car  platform  and  faced  the  crowd.  It  was  a  delicate  situ- 
ation, but  the  train  pulled  out  a  moment  later  and  the 
hairy  man  was  saved  from  a  premature  hanging. 

"  Almeda  Chattelle  was  hanged  in  Stratford  in  the 
spring  of  1895.  He  raised  no  question  as  to  his  sanity, 
and  his  plea  at  his  preliminary  examination  had  been 
'  Guilty.'  All  he  said  was :  '  I  am  sorry.'  From  the 
moment  I  was  satisfied  that  he  was  aware  of  what  he  was 
doing,  at  the  time  he  did  it  and  thereafter,  no  doubt  of 
his  full  responsibility  for  his  crime  presented  itself  to  me. 
He,  indeed,  was  horrible,  hairy,  human,  with  hands  like 
the  paws  of  a  bear.  Yet  his  voice  was  as  gentle  as  his 
crime  was  brutal." 


390     MEMOIRS  OF  A  GREAT  DETECTIVE 

LXI 
THE  GANGS  OF  BURTCH  AND  RUTLEDGE 

The  mysteries  of  the  codes  of  communication  among 
inmates  of  penitentiaries  are  regarded  by  some  as  past 
finding  out.  To  others  they  constitute  simply  a  series 
of  coughs,  taps,  foot-scrapes,  and  occasional  whispers,  all 
significant  with  some  meaning  or  message  understood  by 
the  other  convicts  who  hear  them.  But  the  bulk  of 
tangible  communication  is  done  by  whispers,  and  the 
taps  or  coughs  are  chiefly  the  signals  of  the  whereabouts 
of  guards  or  keepers.  Telegraphers  who  have  served 
time  have  been  known  to  have  secret  cipher  codes,  and 
in  the  night  they  chatted  by  gentle  tapping  or  subdued 
coughing,  each  tap  and  cough  equivalent  to  the  tick  of  a 
telegraph  instrument.  Two  telegraphers  who  worked  in 
a  stone  yard,  and  later  in  a  shop  in  a  penitentiary  talked 
all  day  long,  the  taps  of  their  hammers  answering  for  the 
click  of  the  telegraph. 

"  In  the  latter  part  of  1 894  a  series  of  burglaries 
occurred  in  various  parts  of  the  Province,  and  from  the 
outset  I  was  satisfied  the  jobs  were  the  work  of  profes- 
sionals, and  daring,  desperate  professionals,  too,"  says 
Murray.  "  I  was  making  my  best  endeavour  to  capture 
them,  and  early  in  the  chase  I  learned  that  there  were 
two  gangs  at  work,  and  that  both  of  them  had  been 
organised  in  Kingston  before  their  members  had  finished 
the  sentences  they  then  were  serving.  There  was  not 
much  difference  in  the  dates  of  their  discharge,  and  they 
took  in  some  pals  from  outside  when  they  began  to  work. 
Some  of  the  early  burglaries  supplied  witnesses,  who 
gave  me  good  descriptions  of  strangers  seen  near  the 
places  robbed  shortly  before  the  jobs  were  done.  I  thus 
was  able  to  figure  out  the  make-up  of  the  two  gangs. 

"  In  one  gang  were  Frank  Rutledge,  a  highwayman 
and  burglar ;  Billy  Black,  a  safe  breaker ;  Walter  Irvine, 
a  burglar ;  and  Lew  Lawrence,  an  all-round  man.  In  the 
second  gang  were  old  Jimmy  Stull,  a  former  telegrapher ; 
Howard  Burtch,  who  already  had  done  several  years  in 


THE  GANGS  OF  BURTCH  AND  RUTLEDGE    391 

Illinois,  apart  from  his  Canada  time ;  and  Frank  Jackson, 
a  Cleveland  crook,  who  was  wanted  in  the  States  for 
murder,  and  who  had  served  time  after  I  had  sent  his 
father  down  for  counterfeiting.  They  were  a  fine  collec- 
tion of  clever,  desperate  crooks.  Several  of  them  had 
done  murder  in  their  time,  and  they  cared  little  for 
human  life.  They  had  set  out,  evidently,  to  clean  up  a 
fortune  by  burglary  in  Canada.  Job  after  job  was  pulled 
off.  Sometimes  there  were  two  jobs  in  one  night,  both 
gangs  being  busy.  I  was  able,  by  descriptions  after  the 
robberies,  to  trace  each  gang.  I  determined  to  break 
them  up  if  I  had  to  stay  awake  nights  for  a  year.  I  sent 
out,  very  carefully,  descriptions  of  the  gangs  to  trusted 
friends  in  the  States  and  in  Canada.  I  also  set  a  watch 
on  the  home  of  Rutledge.  His  father  lived  in  Streets- 
ville,  Ontario. 

"On  November  2d,  1894,  I  was  informed  that  Rut- 
ledge's  gang  had  arrived  in  Streetsville.  I  took  Detect- 
ives Davis,  Cuddy,  and  others,  and  went  to  Streetsville, 
arriving  later  that  evening.  We  prepared  for  a  stiff 
fight.  We  surrounded  the  Rutledge  house,  creeping  up 
to  it  quietly.  Then  we  burst  in  the  doors  and  entered. 
The  birds  had  flown.  They  had  slipped  out  not  a  min- 
ute too  soon.  The  table  was  spread,  the  coffee  on  it  was 
still  warm.  We  found  Rutledge's  father  and  mother. 
They,  of  course,  said  they  knew  nothing  of  the  visit  of 
their  son  and  his  gang.  Yet  they  were  unable  to  explain 
why  the  table  was  set  for  six,  with  food  and  coffee  for 
six.  We  went  to  a  second  house,  where  a  man  named 
Bill  Ward  lived.  Ward  was  a  friend  of  the  Rutledges, 
and  also  had  done  time.  We  cracked  it  open,  but  the 
gang  had  gone.  I  was  chagrined  considerably,  as  I  had 
hoped  to  bag  the  Rutledge  bunch,  and  I  knew  it  would 
be  many  a  day  before  they  would  turn  up  in  Streetsville 
again  after  such  a  close  call. 

"  A  few  nights  later  the  banking  house  of  Hartman  & 
Wilgress,  in  Clarksburg,  near  Thornbury,  in  the  county 
of  Grey,  was  burglarised.  The  thieves  made  an  effort  to 
get  into  the  safe,  but  they  were  foiled  by  circumstances, 
and  succeeded  in  getting  into  the  outer  vanlt  only.     In 


392     MEMOIRS  OF  A  GREAT  DETECTIVE 

this  outer  vault,  however,  was  a  large  quantity  of  valua- 
ble silverware,  wedding  presents  to  Mr.  and  Mrs.  Wil- 
gress,  also  a  number  of  exceedingly  rare  and  high-priced 
coins  owned  by  Mr.  Hartman.  The  burglars  stole  all 
this  silverware  and  all  the  coins.  I  went  to  Thornbury 
the  next  day,  and  the  descriptions  of  strangers  seen  near 
the  town  a  few  hours  before  the  burglary  showed  that  it 
was  another  job  by  my  old  friends,  Irvine,  Rutledge,  and 
Black.  I  returned  to  Toronto,  and  laid  plans  to  trace 
the  silverware. 

"  In  due  time  Irvine  walked  into  the  back  office  of  a 
jeweller  in  Toronto  with  a  bar  of  silver  and  sold  it.  This 
bar  had  been  made  by  melting  the  Wilgress  wedding 
presents.  Irvine  also  visited  the  Gladstone  House  in 
Toronto,  and  showed  a  rare  Chinese  coin  to  the  bar- 
tender, and  later  gave  the  coin  to  him.  We  got  Irvine 
in  Toronto,  and  the  jeweller  and  bartender  identified 
him,  and  Mr.  Hartman  identified  the  coin.  I  took  Irvine 
to  Owen  Sound,  where  he  was  convicted  on  Thursday, 
December  13th,  1894,  and  was  sent  to  Kingston  for  five 
years.  He  was  the  first.  Bud  Kinney  had  been  with 
Irvine  and  the  gang  in  several  of  their  jobs.  Bud  was 
shot  dead  at  Port  Dalhousie  in  a  robbery  attempted  there. 
Black  I  got  in  Hamilton,  caught  red-handed.  He  got 
five  years. 

"  Rutledge  jumped  the  country.  He  crossed  to  the 
United  States,  and  turned  up  in  Greely  County,  Colorado, 
where  he  was  arrested  for  stealing  a  bicycle.  In  his 
pocket  they  found  clippings  about  Irvine  and  Black,  and  a 
slip  with  my  name  on  it.  The  sheriff  telegraphed  to  me, 
and  I  sent  him  Rutledge's  history.  At  the  trial  of  Rut- 
ledge, in  Colorado,  my  letter  to  the  sheriff  was  read. 
Rutledge  was  convicted  and  sent  down  for  six  years. 

" '  When  I  get  out  I  am  going  back  to  Canada  and 
kill  that Murray  ! '  Rutledge  declared. 

"  In  1901  he  reappeared  in  Canada  at  the  head  of 
another  gang,  and  due  notice  came  to  me  that  Rutledge 
intended  to  kill  me.  His  particular  pal  was  a  crook 
named  Rice.  They  had  a  third  bird  with  them.  They 
were  trailed  on  one  of  their  first  jobs,  and  were  followed 


THE  GANGS  OF  BURTCH  AND  RUTLEDGE    393 

to  Chicago,  caught  there,  extradited  and  tried  for  the 
Markham  burglary.  They  were  being  taken  in  a  carriage 
from  the  court-house  to  the  Toronto  gaol,  when  some  one 
threw  a  package  into  the  carriage.  Constables  Steward 
and  Boyd  were  in  the  carriage  with  the  prisoners.  The 
package  contained  loaded  revolvers.  The  prisoners 
grabbed  the  revolvers,  and  one  of  them  shot  and  killed 
Boyd,  who  was  a  good  officer.  After  the  shooting  the 
prisoners  jumped  out  of  the  carriage,  ran  to  a  street  car, 
and  tried  to  take  possession  of  the  car.  Constable 
Steward  followed,  and  in  the  shooting  one  of  the  burglars 
was  killed.  Rutledge  and  Rice  were  recaptured,  and 
were  taken  to  gaol.  Rutledge  ran  up  to  the  third  cor- 
ridor of  the  gaol,  leaped  over  the  railing,  turned  a  com- 
plete somersault,  and  landed  on  the  stone  floor  beneath. 
He  was  killed  by  the  fall,  a  case  of  suicide.  Rice  was 
hanged. 

"  Lew  Lawrence  was  caught  in  1894,  and  tried  in  Ber- 
lin for  a  burglary  at  Gait,  where  his  identification  was 
perfect.  He  was  convicted,  and  went  back  to  Kingston 
for  seven  years.  So  ended  the  first  gang — Rutledge 
dead,  Kinney  dead,  Irvine,  Black,  and  Lawrence  back  in 
Kingston. 

"  The  second  gang  was  led  by  Howard  Burtch.  He 
was  a  desperate  burglar.  He  had  served  three  years 
here,  then  had  gone  to  Chicago,  where  he  shot  and  killed 
a  policeman  while  committing  a  burglary.  He  was  sent 
to  Joliet  Penitentiary  in  Illinois  for  twenty  years,  but 
later  his  lawyers  enabled  him  to  get  out.  He  came  back 
here,  and  after  a  series  of  burglaries  I  got  a  perfect  case 
against  him  in  St.  Catharine's.  Burtch  skipped  to  the 
States,  and  I  got  him  in  Buffalo  in  1896.  He  had  been 
sent  down  for  larceny  there,  and  as  he  came  out  of  the 
penitentiary  I  took  him.  He  fought  extradition,  but  I 
brought  him  back,  and  he  got  ten  years.  He  is  in 
Kingston  Penitentiary  now. 

"  Old  Jimmy  Stull,  one  of  Burtch's  pals,  was  a  funny 
little  fellow.  Jimmy  was  past  fifty,  although  he  always 
was  sensitive  on  the  subject  of  his  age.  He  had  been  a 
telegraph  operator  in  earlier  years,  and  never  failed  to 


394     MEMOIRS  OF  A  GREAT  DETECTIVE 

give  his  occupation  as  '  a  member  of  the  profession  of 
telegraphy.'  When  Jimmy  was  broke  he  would  go  to 
the  nearest  telegraph  office,  and  tap  with  his  finger  a  re- 
quest for  a  loan.  He  usually  got  it,  too.  Jimmy  was 
slippery,  and  it  was  not  until  1897  that  I  arrested  him. 
I  got  him  in  June  of  that  year.  He  made  a  wry  face, 
and  said  he  had  hoped  he  never  would  set  eyes  on  me  in 
either  this  world  or  the  next.  The  burglary  for  which 
he  was  tried  was  the  robbery  of  James  H.  Goring's  store 
in  Wellandport.  Jimmy  was  convicted  at  St.  Catharine's, 
and  went  to  Kingston  for  five  years. 

"  Frank  Jackson  got  away  to  the  States.  He  both- 
ered us  no  more  over  here.  So  ended  the  second  gang. 
It  took  three  years  or  more  to  tuck  them  all  away,  but 
in  the  end  they  were  broken  up.  Out  of  the  eight  men, 
two  were  dead,  five  were  back  in  prison,  and  one  was  in 
exile. 

"  '  The  exile  is  the  worst  off  of  all  of  us,'  said  old 
Jimmy  Stull." 


LXII 

THE  MIDDLEMARCH  MYSTERY 

A  clump  of  timber  near  Middlemarch,  three  miles 
from  St.  Thomas,  in  the  county  of  Elgin,  became  known 
throughout  all  Canada  in  1895.  For  years  it  had  stood 
on  the  county  maps  as  Wardell's  woods.  It  was  good 
for  squirrels  and  fire-wood  and  that  was  about  all.  But 
in  the  closing  days  of  1894  came  a  tragedy  that  caused 
people  to  travel  for  miles  simply  to  tramp  through  this 
fragment  of  a  forest  and  gape  at  the  scene  of  blood.  The 
crime  has  passed  into  the  records  as  the  Middlemarch 
mystery,  although  its  mystery  long  since  was  solved. 

"  William  Henry  Hendershott,  a  name  which  its  owner 
always  wrote  or  pronounced  in  full,  as  if  he  were  proud 
of  its  extent  and  its  euphony,  was  a  young  man,  unmar- 
ried, well  known  among  his  neighbours,  and  a  skilled 


THE  MIDDLEMARCH  MYSTERY         395 

hand  about  a  farm,"  says  Murray.  "  He  boarded  with 
his  uncle,  John  Hendershott,  a  farmer.  A  fellow  boarder 
was  young  William  David  Welter,  who  was  engaged  to 
Mary  Hendershott,  the  pretty  daughter  of  John  Hender- 
shott. On  the  morning  of  Friday,  December  14th,  1894, 
John  Hendershott  and  his  daughter  Mary  drove  away  to 
Eden,  forty  miles  from  home,  leaving  his  nephew  and 
Welter  on  the  farm.  About  three  d'clock  that  afternoon 
Welter  went  to  the  house  of  his  cousin,  Charles  Welter, 
who  lived  near  the  Hendershotts,  and  told  his  cousin  that 
a  tree  had  fallen  on  William  Henry  Hendershott,  while 
they  were  chopping  in  Wardell's  woods  and  had  killed 
him.  The  uncle  was  notified  by  telegraph  at  Eden,  and 
the  next  day  he  drove  home,  and  after  a  post-mortem,  the 
body  of  William  Henry  Hendershott  was  buried  on  Mon- 
day, December  17th.  Welter  told  at  the  inquest  how  the 
tree  had  fallen  and  crushed  his  companion  to  death.  I 
was  telegraphed  for  the  next  day  and  I  arrived  on  Tues- 
day night. 

"  I  got  Drs.  Gustin,  Lawrence,  Fulton,  McCarty,  and 
Wilson,  and  drove  to  Fingal  cemetery  and  exhumed  the 
body  of  William  Henry  Hendershott  and  looked  at  the 
wounds.  The  only  marks  were  on  the  head.  There  was 
not  a  scratch  on  the  remainder  of  the  body.  Clearly,  if 
a  tree  fell  on  him  it  must  have  fallen  on  the  head  alone. 
Moreover  there  were  various  wounds  on  the  head.  In- 
stead of  a  complete  crushing  it  showed  numerous  con- 
tusions, so  that  the  tree  would  have  to  bounce  up  and 
down  on  the  head  to  make  them.  They  looked  to  me  as 
if  they  had  been  made  by  many  heavy  blows  instead  of 
by  the  single  smash  of  a  falling  tree.  I  had  the  head 
taken  off  and  requested  the  doctors  to  preserve  it. 

"  We  then  drove  to  the  scene  of  the  tragedy  in  War- 
den's woods.  I  had  a  constable  bring  Welter  to  the 
place.  Welter  came  striding  through  the  woods,  a  mas- 
sive fellow,  over  six  feet  tall,  deep-chested,  broad-shoul- 
dered, powerful.  We  were  waiting  for  him  by  the  fallen 
tree. 

" '  Welter,'  said  I,  '  show  me  the  exact  spot  where 
William  Henry  Hendershott  stood,  and  where  you  stood, 


396     MEMOIRS  OF  A  GREAT  DETECTIVE 

and  show  me  precisely  where  you  were  when  the  tree 
fell.' 

"  Welter  walked  over  by  the  stump  of  the  tree. 

" '  I  stood  here,'  he  said.  '  Hendershott  had  left  his 
vest  with  his  watch  in  it  over  there  on  the  ground,  and 
when  he  saw  the  tree  falling  that  way  he  ran  to  get  the 
vest  out  of  the  way,  and  the  tree  killed  him.' 

" '  Show  me  where  the  vest  lay,'  said  I. 

"  Welter  walked  out  along  the  fallen  tree  to  a  spot 
about  forty  feet  from  the  stump. 

" '  Here  it  was,  and  here  he  was  killed,'  said  Welter. 

"  At  this  point  on  the  tree  trunk  was  a  large  knot,  the 
shape  of  a  cocoanut  and  bigger  than  a  half-bushel  basket. 
When  the  tree  fell  this  knot  had  been  buried  in  the 
springy  soil.  The  buoyancy  of  the  limbs  had  raised  it 
up,  leaving  a  hole  in  the  ground  beneath  the  knot. 

" '  I  found  Hendershott  lying  dead  in  the  ground  be- 
neath this  knot,'  said  Welter. 

"  •  Get  down  on  the  ground  and  place  yourself  exactly 
as  he  was  lying  when  you  found  him,'  said  I. 

"  Welter  demurred,  but  finally  sprawled  fiat,  face  down, 
his  head  in  the  hole  beneath  the  knot. 

"  '  Stay  there  now,'  I  said. 

"  I  called  the  doctors  to  take  careful  notice.  I  had 
Welter,  lying  on  the  ground,  explain  it  all  again.  Then 
I  bade  Welter  step  back. 

"  '  Would  there  not  be  a  smashed  head  and  a  great  deal 
of  blood  ? '  I  asked  the  doctors. 

"  '  There  certainly  would,'  they  said. 

"  The  doctors  examined  the  soil,  a  rich  loam.  There 
was  no  blood.  One  by  one  the  doctors  made  sure  of 
this.  I  then  took  samples  of  the  earth.  Blood  was  on 
the  knot.  But  it  had  been  smeared  on  and  had  not  splat- 
tered at  all.  The  doctors  examined  it  and  said  it  had 
been  rubbed  on  the  knot.  On  the  top  of  the  tree  as  it 
lay,  I  found  a  large  quantity  of  blood. 

" '  How  do  you  account  for  that  ? '  I  asked  Welter. 

" '  I  don't  know,'  he  said. 

"  I  began  to  circle  the  tree  in  ever  widening  circles,  and 
one  hundred  and  ninety  feet  from  the  stump  I  came  upon 


THE  MIDDLEMARCH  MYSTERY         397 

a  little  pool  of  water.  Around  it  were  spots  of  blood, 
and  a  zigzag  trail  of  blood  drips  led  to  a  place  fifty  feet 
from  the  stump,  and  there  I  found  a  lot  of  blood.  Hen- 
dershott  had  been  killed  there,  then  put  under  the  top  of 
the  tree,  and  then  removed  to  where  the  knot  was.  The 
murderer  had  washed  his  hands,  and  perchance  his 
weapon,  in  the  little  pool.  Thus  I  accounted  for  the 
various  crimson  stains.  I  believed  the  weapon  used  was 
the  axe  that  chopped  the  tree.  I  searched  the  woods 
thrice  and  could  not  find  it,  but  at  last  it  was  revealed. 
It  had  been  shoved  in  between  the  bark  and  the  log  of 
an  old  tree  trunk.  It  never  would  have  been  discovered 
if  one  of  the  searchers  had  not  stumbled  on  the  log  and 
smashed  the  bark  off  so  that  the  axe  fell  out.  It  had 
been  partially  washed,  but  there  were  telltale  traces  on 
it.  John  Hendershott  had  given  me  previously  an  old 
axe,  saying  it  was  the  one  used  to  chop  the  tree.  It  was 
not. 

"  When  I  again  came  to  the  woods  I  found  a  lot  more 
blood  splattered  about  in  confusing  quantities.  I  inves- 
tigated and  found  an  old  dead  horse  in  a  field  near  by. 
During  the  night  some  of  Welter's  friends  had  drawn 
blood  from  this  carcass  and  sprinkled  it  around  in  War- 
dell's  woods.  They  were  too  late.  I  already  had  taken 
my  samples  of  the  stained  soil. 

"  I  learned  that  Welter  and  John  Hendershott  had  ne- 
gotiated $  1 1,000  insurance  on  the  life  of  the  dead  man. 
Several  months  before,  they  had  taken  out  two  policies, 
one  for  $6,000  in  a  Galesburg  (Illinois)  Company,  and 
one  for  $5,000  in  the  Mutual  Reserve  of  New  York. 
Both  policies  were  in  the  name  of  John  Hendershott  as 
the  beneficiary.  I  knew  many  of  the  people  in  that  part 
of  Canada,  as  it  was  my  old  headquarters  when  I  was  at 
St.  Thomas  with  the  railroad.  Among  my  acquaintances 
was  a  worthless  fellow  named  Patrick  Fitzpatrick,  who 
was  known  as  Paddy  the  Diver.  He  was  the  St.  Thomas 
town  drunkard.  Paddy  the  Diver  told  me  Welter  and 
John  Hendershott  had  spoken  to  him  about  insuring  his 
life.  I  investigated  among  the  insurance  companies  and 
found  the  two  men  had  tried  to  insure  Paddy  the  Diver, 


398     MEMOIRS  OF  A  GREAT  DETECTIVE 

but  the  applications  had  been  refused.  Then  they  had 
taken  Paddy  the  Diver  to  Aylmer  before  another  doctor, 
and  had  changed  his  name  slightly,  and  he  passed  the 
examination  and  the  application  was  approved,  but  when 
it  reached  the  insurance  company's  head  office  the  trick 
was  discovered,  owing  to  the  failure  to  make  a  greater 
change  in  the  name,  and  the  policy  was  cancelled.  So 
they  then  effected  the  $11,000  insurance  on  Hender- 
shott's  nephew.  This  was  done  several  months  before 
the  murder. 

"  These  circumstances  left  no  doubt  in  my  mind  that 
John  Hendershott,  the  uncle,  was  a  party  to  the  crime. 
I  went  to  Eden,  where  John  Hendershott  had  driven, 
with  his  pretty  daughter,  on  the  morning  of  the  murder, 
and  where  he  had  stayed  all  night.  I  saw  those  who 
were  with  him  when  he  heard  of  his  nephew's  death. 

"  '  It's  just  like  that  fool  to  leave  his  watch  some  place, 
and  in  going  to  get  it  he  might  get  hurt,'  said  John  Hen- 
dershott when  the  telegram  came  stating  his  nephew  was 
dead. 

"  This  settled  it.  Welter  had  told  us  of  the  watch  and 
had  stated  on  the  day  of  the  murder  the  same  version  of 
how  young  Hendershott  met  his  death.  But  how  did 
John  Hendershott,  forty  miles  away,  happen  to  give  the 
same  version  as  Welter,  although  John  Hendershott  knew 
nothing  of  how  it  had  occurred  ?  They  had  fixed  up  the 
story  beforehand.  John  Hendershott,  in  Eden,  also 
showed  the  insurance  policies  to  friends.  He  had  taken 
the  policies  with  him  when  he  drove  away  to  Eden. 
Why?  When  he  heard  his  nephew  was  dead  he  pro- 
duced the  policies  from  his  coat  pocket. 

"  '  Will  got  killed,  but  I  am  not  so  badly  off,'  he  told 
his  friends. 

"  I  reopened  the  inquest.  I  arrested  Welter  and  John 
Hendershott  on  December  2 1st,  1894.  They  were  tried 
before  Chief  Justice  Meredith.  B.  B.  Osier  prosecuted, 
ably  assisted  by  D.  J.  Donahue;  and  Norman  Macdonald 
and  John  A.  Robinson  defended.  Mr.  Macdonald  made 
a  good  fight  in  behalf  of  his  clients.  It  was  a  long- 
drawn-out  trial.     We  swore  eighty-five  or  more  witnesses 


THE  GRADED  GRAYS  399 

for  the  Crown.  On  Friday,  March  15th,  1895,  both 
Welter  and  John  Hendershott  were  convicted.  They 
were  hanged  on  June  18th  at  St.  Thomas.  Welter  was  a 
heavy  man  on  the  gallows." 


LXIII 
THE  GRADED  GRAYS 

David  Scollie  was  an  old  man  with  a  long  white 
beard,  and  Tommie  Gray  was  a  tow-headed  boy.  David 
Scollie  was  six  times  as  old  as  Tommie  Gray,  and 
Tommie  was  eleven  years  old.  David  Scollie  lived  alone 
on  a  little  farm,  in  the  township  of  Otonabee,  in  the 
county  of  Peterboro.  Tommie  Gray  lived  across  the 
road  with  his  parents.  Thomas  Gray,  the  father  of 
Tommie  Gray,  was  a  farm  labourer,  with  a  wife  and  six 
children,  the  oldest  being  a  girl  of  twelve.  Thomas 
Gray  worked  for  various  farmers,  chiefly  for  John  Graham 
Weir.  Tommie  Gray  spent  most  of  his  time  with  his 
friend  David  Scollie — in  fact,  Tommie  and  David  spent 
most  of  their  days  together. 

"  Scollie  was  so  old  that  he  got  Mrs.  Gray  to  do  baking 
and  occasionally  set  his  house  in  order  for  him,"  says 
Murray.  "  He  was  very  fond  of  young  Tommie  Gray. 
Finally  Tommie's  father  struck  up  a  bargain  with  old 
Scollie.  They  agreed  that  if  he  gave  them  his  farm  they 
would  keep  him  and  care  for  him  as  long  as  he  lived. 
To  Scollie  it  meant  an  end  of  worry  over  housekeeping, 
and  above  all,  life  with  Tommie  would  be  unbroken. 
The  old  man  went  to  Peterboro  and  had  the  papers 
drawn  up  transferring  his  farm  to  the  Grays.  The  deed 
was  executed  and  the  Grays  moved  to  Scollie's  house. 
Early  on  the  morning  of  February  23d,  1894,  the  house 
was  destroyed  by  fire.  Gray  had  gone  to  Maydock, 
forty  miles  away,  on  the  previous  day  to  see  his  brother, 
and  was  absent  when  the  fire  occurred.  Mrs.  Gray, 
Tommie  Gray,  and  the  other  children  escaped  and  were 


4oo     MEMOIRS  OF  A  GREAT  DETECTIVE 

cared  for  by  neighbours.  Old  David  Scollie  was  found 
in  the  ruins  dead.  He  was  buried  and  soon  thereafter 
the  Grays  sold  his  farm  to  Michael  Fitzgerald  for  $i,ooo, 
squandered  the  money,  and  disappeared  with  all  the 
children. 

"Months  passed.  Over  a  year  later,  in  May,  1895, 
W.  J.  McGregor,  a  brother-in-law  of  Thomas  Gray,  told 
of  a  talk  between  Mrs.  Gray  and  Mrs.  McGregor  shortly 
before  the  fire. 

"  *  If  something  isn't  done  with  that  old  diwle  of  a 
Scollie  he  is  as  likely  to  live  as  long  as  I  will,'  Mrs.  Gray 
said  to  Mrs.  McGregor. 

" '  I  suppose  he  will  live  as  long  as  God  will  let  him,' 
replied  her  sister. 

"  <  No.     I'll  be if  he  will ;  I  won't  let  him,'  said 

Mrs.  Gray. 

" '  Be  very  careful  or  the  law  will  get  you,'  said  her 
sister,  Mrs.  McGregor. 

"  Then  had  come  the  fire,  with  old  Scollie's  body 
found  in  the  ruins. 

"  Almost  sixteen  months  later  the  matter  was  reported 
and  the  Government  sent  me  to  Otonabee  to  investigate. 
I  looked  over  the  case.  I  took  doctors  and  went  to 
Peterboro,  and  had  the  body  exhumed.  I  found  the  head 
completely  severed  or  burned  from  the  body.  I  was  sur- 
prised to  find  so  few  traces  of  burns  on  the  remainder  of 
the  body.  A  head  cannot  well  be  burned  from  a  body 
without  the  trunk  showing  evidences  of  the  intense  heat. 
However,  the  body  had  been  buried  so  long  that  it  was 
very  hard  to  make  a  satisfactory  post-mortem.  I  learned 
also  that  the  body  had  been  found  in  the  cellar  after  the 
fire  in  an  opposite  corner  from  that  beneath  Scollie's  own 
room.  He  could  not  very  well  have  fallen  from  overhead 
to  the  spot  where  he  was  found,  with  his  head  severed. 
How  had  he  come  there  ? 

"  It  was  decided  to  locate  the  Grays  and  bring  them 
back.  A  letter  had  been  received  from  them  by  one  of 
their  old-time  neighbours,  saying  they  were  living  near 
Ocala,  Florida.  I  prepared  extradition  papers  and  went 
to  Florida.     I  found  them  living  in  great  poverty  and 


THE  GRADED  GRAYS  401 

squalor.  Their  house  was  a  shanty,  some  of  the  children 
were  running  around  practically  naked.  I  looked  at  the 
six  little  ones,  dirty,  clothesless,  and  hungry.  I  could  not 
take  the  parents  and  leave  the  six  children  alone  in  this 
shanty.  They  would  have  starved  to  death  or  perished 
of  neglect.  So  I  took  the  entire  family  to  Ocala  and 
registered  them  at  the  gaol.  The  sheriff  and  his  wife  and 
townsfolk  washed  the  children  and  made  up  a  purse  and 
bought  them  clothes.  Tommie  Gray  invested  five  cents, 
given  to  him  by  a  lady,  in  candy  known  to  Tommie  as 
Red  Dave's  jaw-bone.  Tommie  would  begin  to  suck  on 
a  jaw-bone  after  breakfast,  and  along  towards  sundown  it 
would  melt  away. 

"  I  can  see  my  party  now  as  it  looked  when  we  started 
north.  I  was  the  tallest,  then  came  Thomas  Gray, 
then  Mrs.  Gray,  and  then  six  little  Grays.  We  made  a 
human  stairway,  with  my  head  the  top  landing  and  a 
Gray  baby  no  taller  than  my  knee  the  bottom  step. 
Tommie  Gray,  his  pockets  bulging  with  all-day  suckers, 
alias  Red  Dave's  jaw-bones,  was  the  fourth  step  from  the 
top  and  the  fourth  step  from  the  bottom.  Despite  all  my 
efforts  to  form  them  in  column  of  two,  the  Grays  per- 
sisted in  walking  Indian  file,  the  tallest  first,  the  smallest 
last.  I  led  this  parade  of  graduated  progeny  through 
the  streets  of  Ocala  with  a  horde  of  shouting  pickaninnies 
trailing  in  the  wake  of  the  procession.  Tommie  Gray 
sang  at  the  top  of  his  voice  all  the  way  to  the  station. 

"  On  the  train  I  found  the  Grays  still  bound  to  arrange 
themselves  according  to  age  and  size.  The  moment  the 
train  started  Mrs.  Gray  began  to  boohoo,  and  the  six 
little  Grays  burst  forth  into  a  chorus  of  caterwauling,  and 
Thomas  Gray  blubbered,  while  Tommie  Gray  opened 
wide  his  cave  of  the  winds  and  poured  forth  frantic 
howls.  Of  course  this  was  not  pleasant  for  the  other 
passengers,  and  several  men  promptly  left  the  car  after 
glaring  at  me.  A  gentle  old  lady  arose  and  crossed  to 
the  seat  of  the  wailing  Tommie. 

"  '  Poor  little  mannie,'  she  said  tenderly. 

"  '  G'way,  darn  you  ! '  howled  Tommie.  '  Don't  you 
dare  to  try  kiss  me ! ' 


402     MEMOIRS  OF  A  GREAT  DETECTIVE 

"'What  ails  the  mannie  ?  What's  the  matter?' said 
the  old  lady  soothingly. 

"'Can't  you  see  I'm  crying,  you  old  fool  ?' howled 
Tommie. 

"  For  answer,  the  sweet  old  lady  suddenly  reached 
down  and  seized  the  weeping  Tommie,  and,  despite  his 
kicks  and  struggles,  lifted  him  up  and  laid  him  across 
her  knees  and  spanked  him  soundly.  To  my  utter 
astonishment  and  the  amazement  of  the  Grays,  Tommie 
suddenly  ceased  his  howling  and  looked  up  and  smiled. 

" '  That's  better,'  said  the  old  lady,  and  Tommie  Gray 
grinned  as  he  rubbed  his  tingling  seat  of  chastisement. 

"  At  sight  of  Tommie  grinning,  all  the  other  Grays 
promptly  stopped  howling.  The  old  lady  returned  to 
her  seat,  while  the  eight  Grays  eyed  her.  Suddenly  a 
long  loud  wail  broke  forth.     It  was  Tommie  Gray. 

" '  She  bruk  me  jaw-bones  !  '  he  howled.  '  She  bruk 
me  jaw-bones  ! ' 

"  The  other  Grays  took  up  the  wailing.  They  shrieked 
and  bellowed.  Over  all  could  be  heard  Tommie  Gray, 
howling : 

"  '  She  bruk  me  jaw-bones  !     She  bruk  me  jaw-bones  ! ' 

"  The  old  lady  paled,  then  flushed.  At  length  she 
arose  and  came  over  to  me. 

"  '  Sir,'  she  said,  '  I  trust  you  do  not  think  I  injured 
him.  I  did  not  strike  him  on  his  face,  so  his  jaw-bone 
is  unhurt.  I  struck  him  not  on  the  face,  but  on  his — on 
the — on  the  appropriate  place  provided  therefor,  sir, 
and  it  was — I — it  was  with  my  open  hand.' 

"  '  Oh,  it's  all  right,'  I  answered.  '  I  can  have  his  jaw 
set  when  I  get  him  home.' 

"  Tommie  meanwhile  had  produced  one  of  the  broken 
jaw-bones  and  was  sucking  it  contentedly.  One  by  one 
the  tribe  of  Grays  fell  asleep.  The  old  lady  dozed  in  her 
seat.  I  looked  at  my  eight  slumbering  charges.  I  had 
travelled  many  miles  with  many  prisoners,  but  never  did 
I  have  such  a  cargo  and  such  a  trip.  It  was  a  long  series 
of  snorings  and  shriekings.  When  they  were  awake  they 
howled,  and  when  they  were  asleep  they  snored,  and 
Tommie  Gray  kicked  in  his  sleep  and  had  dreams  that 


GEORGE  ALGER'S  GRAVEYARD  POLICY   403 

called  for  wild  acrobatic  feats.  It  was  stifling  hot 
weather,  too,  and  the  presence  of  the  Grays  could  be 
detected,  even  by  a  blind  man,  if  his  olfactory  organ  did 
even  half  its  duty. 

"  I  landed  them  in  Peterboro  on  Friday,  July  5th,  1895. 
Mrs.  Gray  was  tried  at  the  Fall  Assizes.  A  seventh 
Gray  child  was  expected  soon  after  the  trial.  Tommie 
Gray  went  on  the  stand,  and  his  testimony  saved  the  day 
for  his  mother.  Tommie  testified  her  right  out  of  it. 
Mrs.  McGregor's  statement  of  Mrs.  Gray's  talk  with  her 
duly  appeared.  All  things  being  considered,  including 
the  expected  seventh  Gray,  the  verdict  of  acquittal  per- 
turbed no  one.  Thomas  Gray  left  his  wife  after  the  case 
was  over  and  went  his  way  alone.  Mrs.  McGregor's 
cow  was  poisoned  by  an  unconvicted  hand.  What  be- 
came of  Tommie  Gray,  the  guardian  angel  of  freckle- 
faced,  tow-headed  jaw-bone-suckers  only  knows." 


LXIV 
GEORGE  ALGER'S  GRAVEYARD  POLICY 

Graveyard  insurance  is  as  old  as  the  insurance  of  life 
itself.  On  a  small  scale  it  is  practised  year  after  year 
with  varying  degrees  of  success.  Occasionally  a  big  raid 
is  planned  on  the  insurance  companies ;  but  the  larger 
the  amount  involved,  the  less  apt  the  plan  is  to  work  out. 
In  Canada,  however,  in  the  year  1895,  a  scheme  to  mulct 
the  insurance  companies  out  of  many  thousands  of  dollars 
was  engineered  and  was  beginning  to  materialise,  when 
it  was  detected  and  broken  up.  A  number  of  persons 
doomed  to  die  were  insured  by  fraud  and  misrepresenta- 
tion, through  a  conspiracy  involving  agents  of  some 
companies. 

"  The  case  that  brought  the  whole  conspiracy  to  col- 
lapse was  located  in  the  township  of  Pickering,  in  the 
county  of  Ontario,  ten  miles  from  Whitby,  the  county 
seat,"  says  Murray.     "  A  farmer,  named  George  Alger, 


404     MEMOIRS  OF  A  GREAT  DETECTIVE 

and  his  wife  lived  there  on  a  fine,  big  farm.  Mrs.  Alger 
was  a  delicate  woman.  In  the  same  neighbourhood 
lived  Dr.  Charles  Henry  Francey,  who  was  medical 
examiner  for  a  number  of  insurance  companies,  one  of 
them  being  the  Equitable.  In  1 894  Alger  and  Dr.  Francey 
effected  an  insurance  on  the  life  of  Mrs.  Alger  in  the 
Equitable  for  $7,000,  and  on  July  nth  of  the  next  year 
application  was  made  for  $5,000  in  the  Home  Life.  The 
application  was  approved,  as  it  was  regular  and  favour- 
able, owing  to  the  conspiracy.  Before  the  policy  could 
arrive  Mrs.  Alger  was  dead.  She  died  on  August  13th, 
1895,  and,  while  she  lay  in  her  coffin  in  the  parlour,  the 
$5,000  policy  on  her  life  came  to  her  husband. 

"  Alger  set  out  to  collect  the  insurance.  An  action 
was  begun,  and  finally  came  to  trial  in  Toronto.  In  the 
meantime  the  Home  Life  policy,  so  closely  connected 
with  her  death,  led  to  an  investigation.  I  had  the  body 
of  Mrs.  Alger  exhumed  in  Brougham  cemetery,  and  had 
it  examined  by  Dr.  Ferguson  and  Dr.  Bingham.  They 
found  death  had  been  due  to  consumption.  She  had 
been  ill  for  several  years  I  learned  from  others.  Alger 
went  on  the  stand  in  the  trial  in  Toronto,  and  gave 
evidence  clearly  contrary  to  the  facts.  I  was  satisfied 
there  was  a  conspiracy  afoot.  I  arrested  him  and  took 
him  to  Whitby,  where  he  was  committed  for  trial  for 
conspiracy.  Dr.  Francey,  who  had  acted  in  the  dual 
capacity  of  medical  examiner  for  the  insurance  com- 
panies and  Alger's  physician,  had  left  the  country.  He 
went  to  Buffalo.  After  staying  there  some  time  I 
located  him  and  saw  him,  and  he  was  persuaded  to  re- 
turn and  give  evidence  under  the  protection  of  the 
Crown.  When  this  had  been  accomplished,  it  simplified 
the  whole  matter.  We  needed  Francey  to  prove  other 
cases. 

"  We  showed  at  the  trial  of  Alger  that  Dr.  Eastwood, 
in  1888,  had  examined  Mrs.  Alger,  and  had  told  Alger 
that  his  wife  had  consumption  and  would  die  in  a  few 
years,  if  she  did  not  have  a  change  of  climate.  The 
years  passed.  Mrs.  Alger  grew  worse.  Her  husband 
sat  by  as  she  coughed  her  life  away,  and  as  the  end  drew 


GEORGE  ALGER'S  GRAVEYARD  POLICY  405 

near  took  out  insurance  by  fraud  and  then  waited  for  her 
to  die.  It  must  have  been  a  pleasant  household  where 
this  weak  woman  sat  suffocating  day  after  day,  each  day 
being  harder  than  the  day  before,  while  the  man  with 
the  big  farm  and  perfect  health  sat  quietly  by,  waiting 
for  her  to  smother  to  death  so  that  he  could  grow  richer 
by  her  dying  !  His  so-called  friend  came  and  went,  but 
the  woman  was  left  to  die.  Instead  of  sending  her  to 
the  mountains  or  to  California  to  live,  as  he  could  have 
done,  he  specu